Enterprising students took on a challenge designed to inspire engineers of the future.

Sixty Year 9 students who had expressed an interest in engineering were chosen to work on EDT’s Go4SET programme.

Go4SET offers young people the opportunity to develop skills, inform subject choice and change perceptions about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), raising awareness of how studying these subjects can lead to a rewarding career.

Students were given several briefs to choose from including designing their school as if it was an island, which included details about the energy they would use, the school’s environmental impact and how it would be sustainable. Other briefs included my healthy school and creating an eco-factory.

Erica Stephenson, Go4SET school programmes manager for the Midlands region, worked with the students along with two mentors from a company called Computa Centre.

She said: “Students had one day of planning and design. A lot of the groups chose to design their school as if it was an island so they had to look at how they would get services there.

“The second day involved building a model and creating a display board. They were also asked to prepare a report and a short presentation which they delivered to our panel. There were several awards to be won including an overall award.

“During the sessions they’ve also been able to ask the mentors questions and talk to them about careers. It’s all about engaging with STEM and broadening their horizons so that they might consider a career in engineering.”

The groups were invited back to present their design and answer questions regarding the process involved to reach the final design, the students were all able to give very thorough accounts of their thinking, planning and research methods.

All the display boards were judged and the winners chosen, with a cup being awarded to the top three teams.

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