HETA is celebrating its golden anniversary with a challenge for schools which it hopes will inspire the next generation of engineers.
We launched the competition by inviting six teams from five schools in Hull and East Yorkshire to battle it out at our head office in Copenhagen Road, Hull.
Further heats will take place over the next two weeks, with the top two teams from each group progressing to a final later this year. On Friday 23 June HETA’s Foxhills training centre at Scunthorpe will welcome students from Frederick Gough School, Outwood Academy and St Bede’s.
On Friday 30 June, CATCH at Stallingborough will host Healing School, Humberston Academy, Oasis Academy Immingham, Oasis Academy Wintringham, and Ormiston Maritime Academy.
The brief for each team is the same – to design and make a prototype of a simple device that will allow homeowners to removed water from their properties after a flood. Teams comprising boys and girls from year 8 face a test of their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills and are assessed on various elements of their project including initial ideas, use of materials, cost, teamwork and final product.
The first heat saw teams from Hull schools Malet Lambert and Boulevard Academy joined by Wolfreton School in Willerby, Withernsea High School and two teams from Headlands School in Bridlington. After a morning of practical tasks and then a presentation by each team, Malet Lambert and one of the Headlands teams secured their places in the final.
Graham Taylor, BTEC Co-ordinator at HETA, said: “The competition is one of the activities we have come up with to commemorate HETA’s 50th anniversary and it is part of our ongoing work to try and inspire the engineers of the future.
“We want to get more young people interested in pursuing careers in engineering and we want to show them what HETA has to offer, not just in terms of apprenticeships but also how we can take students through the higher education route to degree level.
“There has been a lot of interest in the competition from schools throughout the Humber region and it’s been fantastic to see how the students are tackling the project, working as teams and coming up some very good problem-solving ideas.”
Sarah Parsons, Pastoral Leader at Malet Lambert, said: “We are heavily involved in STEM subjects at our school. We bring visitors in to present workshops and we work closely with HETA. This event helps to show the students that there are career opportunities out there.”
Will Annison, Advanced Skills Teacher for STEM at Wolfreton, said: “We are working on embedding STEM subjects into our curriculum to encourage students to get involved.
“We have about 20 students who regularly take part in a variety of STEM activities and we brought two teams to HETA because we want to expose as many students as we can to this sort of event. It’s one of the most challenging tasks that I have seen.”
Amanda Edwards, Technology Teacher at Wolfreton School, said: “We brought a team here to help students understand what STEM is about and to show them an engineering environment. In recent years we have found more girls showing an interest in engineering, and half of our team for this competition are girls.”
Daisy Turner, Science Teacher at Withernsea High School, said: “We have a very good science and maths department and we push STEM as much as we can. We want to show the students more variety and give them more opportunities.
“We bring in companies to deliver STEM talks and we do have students going into engineering apprenticeships in industry in the local area. This event is a great challenge for the students and they are rising to it.”
Chloe Goundrill, Science Teacher at Boulevard Academy, is also the lead for STEAM, with the school incorporating the arts into the subject group.
She said: “We had about 20 students who wanted to take part today and in the end we had to draw the names out of a hat. We opened in September 2013 and we only have students up to year 10 but we do an hour a week of STEAM subjects in year 7 and 8 and the students are responding very well.
“This event is a great opportunity for the students to take part in a challenge with other schools and to get them interested and engaged in engineering careers.”
Picture shows students from Malet Lambert School, one of the teams to qualify from the first heat.