The CEA (Construction Equipment Association) has for a second year teamed up with educational organisation Primary Engineer to work with primary and secondary schools in the Leicestershire area. The catchment area has been widened this year to include schools in Coventry – the schools will work on exciting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) vehicle and fluid power engineering projects.
The first event CEA and Primary Engineer collaborated on was held at last year’s Plantworx exhibition and it was a resounding success! Local schools worked on their projects throughout the year following training sessions with the Primary Engineer teams. The school children, along with their teachers, then brought their projects along to Plantworx for the ‘Celebration Event’ where their vehicles and fluid power models were scrutinized by judges.
Judges included engineers from Caterpillar, JCB and Perkins, who volunteered for the role, and from other sponsor companies including AMI, Bomag, BSP Foundations, GKD, Gomaco, Datatag, Marubeni Komatsu, Nylacast, Point of Rental and TriMark.
The CEA and Plantworx team had very positive feedback from the schools involved and many said that if this event was run each year – it would automatically be added to the school curriculum. This initiative forms part of the CEA Skills Council programme – all part of the drive to engage young people in STEM projects as a means of inspiring careers in the sector.
JCB’s Apprentice Programme Advisor, Chris Morris, attended the 2017 celebration event at Plantworx he said, “The JCB Engineering Talent Programme would like to thank Plantworx, the CEA and Primary Engineer for inviting us along to the Primary and Secondary Engineering Award.
The day was thoroughly enjoyable, and it was great to see the young budding engineers in action. We brought along the Apprentice Built Loadall which was manufactured and built entirely by 68 JCB engineering apprentices at our World Headquarters in Staffordshire. This made such an impact with the students and the advice given by our apprentices will hopefully help inspire them into a career in engineering. Some of the thought and hard work that went into the projects was fantastic and it was great to see the smiles on each of the student’s face during the trials.”
Mr Morris concluded, “As we know, the UK is heavily short of engineers and Primary Engineer is doing a fantastic job in helping to promote engineering through school engagement, by setting tasks and importantly, making it enjoyable. It was an excellent achievement by all. Keep up the good work!”
About Primary Engineer and The Universe of Engineering.
Primary Engineer has been working with teachers to address the fundamental issue of a lack of engineers and the wider perception of engineering since 2005. It is a not-for-profit organisation instigated through seed-corn funding from the then Department of Trade and Industry. It has grown over the last decade to deliver teacher training to over 1000 teachers annually, bringing the programme, in the classroom, to over 33 000 new pupils, establishing itself as part of the curriculum in thousands of schools across the UK.
The research demonstrates that primary teachers find STEM subjects more difficult to teach, this lack of skills increases the disengagement of pupils with these subjects from a very early age. Primary Engineer has addressed this issue by providing teachers with practical skills and academic knowledge to subtly apply and embed the theoretical into the practical, effectively ‘STEM by Stealth’. The impact on the teaching professionals and their pupils which has been reported anecdotally in numerous schools, Ofsted reports and evaluations from Engineering UK’s Tomorrows’ Engineers programme which funded some of Primary Engineers engagement with schools have also demonstrated significant impact on learning outcomes and experiences.
Over the last decade Primary Engineer has responded to the demand led by teachers and local companies expanding the programme from the first Primary Engineer training days delivered to primary teachers to a comprehensive suite of training and whole class activities.
There are sponsorship opportunities available for this years’ CEA and Primary Engineer project and the CEA would be delighted if CEA Members and associated companies would like to be involved. Sponsorship is just £750.00 to support teacher training and materials.
All sponsor companies will be invited to be part of the judging panel at the ‘Celebration Event’, which will be held at the end of the 2018 academic year the WMG (Warwickshire Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick in Coventry.