Encouraging engineers of the future

CHILDREN from 15 primary schools competed in an Engineering Challenge at Badminton School last month.
The challenge was to install a model wind turbine by designing a crane out of K’Nex.

In class, the children had already been exploring the diversity of engineering and the range of tasks engineers undertake. They had also looked at how engineering could help solve issues around climate change. The children who were competing were the winners from heats in their schools. These budding engineers demonstrated teamwork, amazing design skills and perseverance, creating a range of fantastic designs.

The event was sponsored by STEMworks, a company that links industry and education, by providing workshops that enable children to develop engineering skills and understanding through practical activities. There are plans to expand this opportunity and include more schools in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities in 2025. The winning school was Burrington C of E Primary.

Badminton physics teacher Christopher Beer said: “We were thrilled to host the Knex Challenge final and work closely with STEMworks to help students learn about the fantastic opportunities in the STEM sector. It was a pleasure to observe how students innovatively and creatively tackled the brief and were able to produce such varied solutions. Not only did the event allow students to engage in an engineering activity, they also met engineers who inspired them to consider this as a future career. It was thrilling to watch senior students from Badminton display their STEM skills as they performed a liquid nitrogen science show.”

Chloe, Upper Sixth, said: “It was fun being able to do a Science Outreach demonstration with liquid nitrogen. I enjoyed presenting and gained valuable skills demonstrating science experiments to the primary school-aged audience, getting them involved and help inspire them to look further into the amazing world of STEM.”