24th April 2013

to-become-championsWith less than six weeks to the north east finals of the Primary Engineer Challenge, competition is intensifying at two primary schools in Newcastle.

Pearson Engineering, part of the Reece Group, is supporting two schools, Broadway East Primary in Gosforth and St Alban’s RC Primary in Walker.  Since the launch of the project in February, both schools have been working closely with mentor engineers and apprentices from the engineering company, based in Walker, which has committed time and resources to the scheme.

Championed in the region by the EEF, the organisation for UK manufacturers, Primary Engineer aims to stimulate interest in engineering and encourage primary age children to take an inquisitive approach to problem solving by applying core subjects such as science, technology and maths.

The challenge is for each of the children to design and build a vehicle which can pass stringent testing such as stability, manoeuvrability and the capability to roll down a ramp in as straight a line as possible while safely carrying a favourite toy.  No mean feat when you’re seven.

Benefiting from the expertise and guidance of Pearson Engineering’s most talented designers and apprentices who are involved in developing innovative products for the global defence sector, the children have learnt about shapes and perspectives which allowed them to begin by producing detailed drawings of their vehicles. Working out how wheels can be attached, how cars go around corners and the principles of gravity and friction have all come into play. They have also learned how to transform the drawings into actual scale model vehicles.

With a competitive eye on each other’s models the children are now thoroughly testing their vehicles and fine tuning them to ensure they achieve optimum performance.  The school will then select the vehicle that will give them the best chance of success in the finals to be held in July at Biddick School in Washington where thirty three schools will be competing and celebrating their achievements.