The CEA and the Plantworx event have been supporting the Primary and Secondary Engineer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) programme since 2017, when the inaugural collaborative celebration event took place at the show. Schools in the Leicestershire area made the journey to the exhibition to present their projects to supporting CEA members and Plantworx exhibitors, who came together as judges for the day’s proceedings.
Earlier this year the CEA, several member companies and Plantworx pledged support for a second year offering sponsorship, training and support to schools in the Coventry area. The celebration event was hosted by local robotics company FANUC UK, based in Ansty Park, Coventry, during the last week of the school term.
Pupils aged between eight and ten, from local schools including, The Dassett C of E Primary School, Southam, and Wheelwright Lane Primary School, Coventry, were invited to FANUC’s showroom where they demonstrated vehicles they had constructed with the help of their teachers and engineers at Primary Engineer.
The vehicles were judged on aspects such as research, design, material elements, quality of build, distance and accuracy of travel. The judges included:
- Nick Ground, CEO of sponsor company GKD Technologies alongside GKD’s marketing director Nigel Baseley
- Rob Oliver, CEO CEA
- Nylacast’s sales and marketing manager Junaid Makda, alongside Nylacast apprentices
- David Farrar managing director TriMark Europe
- Managing director BSP International Foundations, David Redhead.
The winners received medals and certificates from CEA’s chief executive Rob Oliver and FANUC UK’s sales and marketing manager, Andrew Armstrong.
Dale Hawkins from UK Plant Operators also brought a machine simulator along to the event – much to the delight of the children who got the opportunity to operate a dump truck on a virtual building site.
School teacher Rachel Williams is the Science Lead at The Dassett Primary School – commenting on the Primary Engineer programme, she said, “Events such as this one provides the children with much-needed experience of what engineering and manufacturing means today. Once I attended the training event we decided to take this on as a whole school project. We ran this as a complete science week with all children from KS1 & KS2 taking part. Each of the children made their own model at no cost to them. We funded this through holding a science fair for the community. Parents also attended workshops with their child.”
“This has been an excellent project for us and its impact has been far reaching. Attending the celebration event has been very beneficial – a day to remember! The children were also enthralled by the simulator machine – what a thoughtful and useful addition to the day. We have one young boy in our class who struggles with literacy – he enjoyed making the model and was so engaged with the entire project – but to also get to operate a machine on a simulator was the icing on the cake for him. We will be including this in the curriculum in the next school year.”
Laura Frankham, events account manager at Primary Engineer, says: “Events like this one encourage children to gain more of an understanding of what it means to be an engineer. By working with parents, teachers and children, our goal is to inspire the next generation of engineers through practical, fun and collaborative programmes. We are delighted that CEA and Plantworx are on board again for the 2019 event.”
Primary Engineer is set to attend Plantworx 2019 at the East of England Arena and Showground in Peterborough on Thursday 13th June. For more information on the exhibition, click here.