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WOW - what a festival

Around 1,000 pupils got a real taste of the world of work when they attended a day-long pilot project at the Princess Royal Sports Arena in Boston on Thursday (February 14).

The emphasis on Valentine's Day was for teenagers to fall in love with the idea of working in one of six important sectors.

And they were encouraged by the hands-on aspect of the first Lincolnshire World of Work (WOW) Festival.

Activities were as diverse as handling some giant-sized creepy-crawlies to managing mega-energy supplies with millions of Euros at risk.

Hopes were high that the success of the Boston pilot would see similar events rolled out to other areas of the county.

The event was organised by LiNCHIGHER, the Lincolnshire outreach network which helps schools support pupils to achieve their potential, and was supported by Boston Borough Council, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and The Careers and Enterprise Company.

Businesses, organisations and agencies were represented at the event under the headings of Health and Care, Ports and Logistics, Manufacturing and Engineering, Agri-Food, Low Carbon and Visitor Economy.

Sharon Bratley, LiNCHIGHER adviser, said they usually operate in individual schools so this event was a test bed to bring many together at the same time to enjoy real hands-on experiences.

Pupils aged 13 and 14 attended from Boston High, Haven High, Thomas Cowley, Thomas Middlecott, Boston Grammar, Giles Academy and 17-year-olds from Boston College.

Sticky Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Thea Lovelace (14) from Thomas Middlecott Academy at Kirton braved the giant stick insect that David Drury, marketing manager at Riseholme College, Lincoln, brought along. This is actually a youngster - they can grow to a foot in length. He brought along stick insects and a scorpion to illustrate the 100 different species the college has as part of its animal management course. David admitted handling the bugs took him out of his comfort zone.

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From left, Rio Hind (13), Mikolij Ciesielski (13) and Oskar Kedra (14) from Haven High Academy, Boston, grapple with a brick-laying puzzle. Assembled in the right order the completed puzzle spells out CITB. Steve Taylor, an instructor from the Construction Industry Training Board said it was an exercise in team work. Other teams used canes and electric bands to construct tetrahedrons (pyramids).

Metsa Wood bridge final Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Boston firm Metsä Wood set students the task of constructing an arched timber bridge without any screws, nails or glue. Having their go at structural engineering are Rosie Must (14), Charlie Manton (14) and Kaci McDermott (14) of Thomas Cowley High School.

Siemens HVDC challenge Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window  Siemens Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window 

Heavy engineering on global scales was under study at the Siemens' display. Two teams competed in mega-millions exercise in transferring electricity between countries. The HVDC (high voltage direct current) challenge simulated moving energy between countries via an undersea cable. The task involved converting AC to DC, transferring it without overloading the system and then back to AC again.