UCLan supports county-wide drive to inspire a generation
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is leading a county-wide initiative to inspire the next generation of engineers.
As the main supporter of the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Award competition for Lancashire, UCLan aims to encourage young people to look at the world around them and to find engineered solutions to common problems. In 2018 more than 37,000 children took part across the UK with even more expected this year.
The creative problem-solving and literacy competition asks pupils ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ Engineers from across the region, including UCLan staff and student engineers, will be interviewed by primary and secondary school pupils to find out more about bringing their ideas to life. The children are then challenged to identify a problem, design a solution and write a letter to the engineer stating why it should be made.
All entries are graded by engineers and selected entries from each participating school will be exhibited at the Leaders Awards ceremony in June hosted by UCLan. A prototype of one of the entrants from last year is currently being made by UCLan engineers. The SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) jacket was designed by Krystyna Marshall, a Year 10 student from Sir John Thursby school in Burnley. It will be unveiled at the Awards event and displayed at UCLan’s Lancashire Science Festival.
The Lancashire competition was officially launched at the UCLan and RI Young Scientist Centre with pupils from two local primary schools; St Andrew’s C of E in Preston and Salesbury C of E in Blackburn who came up with their own engineering ideas.
"We are delighted that UCLan is supporting Primary Engineer with the competition in Lancashire. The University identifies the importance of introducing engineering into the classroom from an early age and the time given by its staff and students reinforces"
Speaking at the event, UCLan Joint Institutional Lead Dr Lynne Livesey said: “UCLan is a centre of excellence for engineering and innovation and we are delighted to support the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Award programme.
“Both Lancashire and the UK are facing a skills-gap in engineering and by 2020, one in five young people will need to become an engineer to make sure we have enough people trained in this area. Here at UCLan we want to support engineering in the region through education and business engagement and we are very much looking forward to seeing the competition entries later this year from the future engineers of Lancashire.”
Liam Weatherill, Regional Director Primary Engineer, said: “We are delighted that UCLan is supporting Primary Engineer with the competition in Lancashire. The University identifies the importance of introducing engineering into the classroom from an early age and the time given by its staff and students reinforces this.
“As with the rest of the UK, Lancashire needs a steady flow of people coming into engineering every year. Initiatives including the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Award competition and the engineering courses offered at UCLan will support this.”
The competition is free to enter for both primary and secondary schools across Lancashire with a deadline of Wednesday 27 March. For more information or to enter the competition, visit the Leaders Award website.
View images from the launch event on the UCLan Flickr gallery.