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Engineering inspired careers

An engineering skills shortage is being tackled by Boston Borough Council with the launch later this month of an initiative to make a career in the industry more attractive to school children.

In response to the need to develop Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), principally in engineering skills in young people, the council is putting £40,000 into an initial two-year engineering education project to provide teachers across the three tiers of education - Early Years, Primary and Secondary - with the necessary training and tools to deliver curriculum-linked engineering projects.

These projects will establish strong education and engineering industry links through the delivery of sustainable engineering education delivered by trained teachers and by partnering schools and pupils with engineers in the classroom to develop skills, increase aspiration and heighten career awareness and opportunities, both locally and regionally.

The council has teamed up with Primary Engineer, and a number of primary schools are to attend the launch at MetsaWood in Boston on Thursday, September 20.

Teachers from the schools will be challenged to build a shoe box vehicle (Key Stage 1) and an electric and solar powered vehicle (Key Stage 2) to be able to move along a tracked path on its own. They will be supplied with all materials necessary and have assistance on hand from expert engineers from MetsaWood Ltd, RAF, Ministry of Defence, Anglian Water and Western Power. Interest in the project has also been shown from National Grid, Network Rail, Freshtime, TH Clements and Dyson Beeswax Farms.

It follows on from a successful secondary engineer fluid power challenge trial day held with secondary school staff, where they had to design and build a device which used pneumatics or hydraulics to rotate, grab and lift overseen by engineers from Western Power, Parkinson Harness Technology and MetsaWood Ltd.

Clive Gibbon, Boston Borough Council's economic development manager, said: "They were given all the items needed and soon had their calculators out to test theories. They all produced something different and really embraced the challenges."

Clive also said: "We have a serious challenge ahead to nurture and develop the engineers and technicians we need to support, retain and grow our business community. Working in partnership with our excellent local schools we can ensure that we are serving our talented young people and our business community alike.

"Delivering this project across the borough will give confidence to business that we are listening and acting upon their concerns and raising the aspirations of our young people whilst highlighting opportunities where they can build a career locally."

Visit the Primary Engineer website for further information at www.primaryengineer.com 

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Two of the teachers work together to calculate the mathematical aspects of their structure

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One of the teachers assembling the mechanism for their structure

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Teachers from the Haven High Academy, Boston Grammar and Boston High School discuss fluid power engineering as part of their workshop