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Royal Navy rewards young scientists

20 December 2016
Potential scientists of the future have been rewarded by the Royal Navy for their engineering innovation.

The pupils of of Widwell Primary in Plymouth have been presented with awards for designing and making small-scale  model vehicles.

The children worked in teams and had to take into account the cost and safety of the vehicles and imagine they had to carry nuclear waste.

The competition was organised by the Ministry of Defence appprentice engineer scheme at Devonport Naval Base to help inspire new recruits for the future to study relevant subject such as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The event is part of the national STEM initiative to address a shortage of suitably qualified engineers for industry and the MOD and Armed Forces.

Beverley Holder, Widewell teacher, said, “The school took part as it was a good opportunity for children to learn new skills, as well as using existing skills and knowledge in a different context. They worked very well together and all really enjoyed working with the staff from the dockyard.

“Many children were inspired by the apprentices who spoke to them about different jobs that they did at the dockyard. The children all worked very well and are now looking forward to their next STEM project.”

The school took part as it was a good opportunity for children to learn new skills, as well as using existing skills and knowledge in a different context

Beverley Holder, teacher from Widewell Primary, Plymouth

Apprentice engineers James Cooke and Phoebe Loveridge acted as mentors for the Widewell teams. James, who wants to work in nuclear power for the Royal Navy, said, “It was very rewarding working with the children. They were very dedicated and keen.”

Lorna Stubbs, MOD Engineering Trainee  Development Manager in HM Naval Base Devonport, said, “The benefits of the STEM events is to engage the local community in activities which include MOD personnel from the naval base.

“Also, and more importantly, we are trying to ignite an interest in science, technology engineering and maths as the children approach secondary school. In a time where there is an international and national shortage of engineers, the earlier we can engage young people, the better.”

The event also gave the MoD apprentices a chance to build on their professional skills such as citizenship, where they are thinking strategically and building on communication and leadership skills.

Presenting prizes was Lieutenant Gary Smith, of Devonport Naval Base Headquarters. The winning team were Sawyer Teft aged 10, Sarah Davies 10, Daisy Green 10, Ben Kirkham 11, and James Evans 10.

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