Over 2000 Primary School students from across 35 schools in Oldham participate in the Primary Engineers Challenge at Oldham Sixth Form College.
We were blown away by the creativity and imagination of the newly inspired young engineers, who competed in the Primary Engineers Challenge Event at Oldham Sixth Form College on Monday 29 June.
Primary Engineer is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2005 which aims to inspire young people to consider STEM related careers from an early age. Primary Engineer believe that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are key subjects in securing positive opportunities and career paths for future generations, and that this begins in Primary school.
‘STEM by stealth’ a catch-phrase, coined by a teacher who was inspired by the Primary engineering course, embodies the mission of Primary Engineer precisely to inspire both students and teachers alike by practically applying Mathematics and Science to design-and-make activities.
‘The 2015 four-wheel challenge hosted at Oldham Sixth Form College races away.’
Primary Engineer and Oldham Sixth Form college teamed together to run a challenge for Primary Schools across Manchester. 40 children, in teams of two, came together to design and build vehicles to compete against one another with the car models they have worked on in the classroom.
The first event was the Apprentice level challenge where children, aged 5-9, competed in pairs to build a vehicle that would go down a ramp and in a straight line. The pressure was on as they battled it out to see which team’s vehicle would win the coveted Primary Engineers Apprentice Challenge prize by travelling the furthest.
Next, the Engineer level challenge ramped up the heat even further as children aged 9-11 had to build a vehicle that runs only on battery power; both in forward and in reverse. The battle continued as the teams competed to see which vehicle could travel up the ramp the furthest by using its battery power alone.
Amira Newman from Mills Hills Primary School spoke of how she really enjoyed creating the Chassis for the models:
“They’re a little bit like a net of the car, it’s what you can see when you turn it upside down. So it’s a bit like maths… I really enjoyed doing it!”
Jayne Clarke, Principal of Oldham Sixth Form College said:
“We are delighted to host the Primary Engineer Celebration event again this year at OSFC and thrilled that there are more than twice as many teams entered this year compared with last. It’s really fantastic to see the superb vehicles that primary school teams have built and we look forward to them continuing to study STEM subjects in the future top become tomorrow’s engineers. Student Ambassadors from OSFC provide support throughout the event, which is a great opportunity for them too.”
This year’s challenge has been supported by Oldham Business Leadership Group (OBLG) who are a board of private sector people, recruited independently from within the Oldham business community. Their aims involve encouraging enterprise in Oldham and have been supporting schools and colleges across the borough through the Enterprise and Employability Hubs. Kashif Ahsraf is the Enterprise Hubs Project Officer and is passionate about the future of Oldham’s STEM subject leaders.
“Bringing children and young people together to learn about STEM subjects is such a creative and exciting way with organisations like Primary Engineer is vital to the future of Oldham and the North West. We have a heritage in Oldham of pioneering science leaders, with Brian Cox currently leading the way. Having the Regional Science Centre at Oldham Sixth Form College, our young people have access to outstanding facilities and teachers on their doorstep and it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a successful future.”
Everyone involved with the day at Oldham Sixth Form College would like to thank the Primary Engineers programme, staff and all of the fantastic primary school children who wowed everyone here at the with their wonderfully inspired vehicle designs; all of which consisted of many challenging Engineering skills.
If you have been inspired by the Primary Engineers Challenge and would like to study at the Regional Science Centre at Oldham Sixth Form College, there is still time to apply for a course. With a huge range of STEM subjects on offer you can find out more by visiting www.osfc.ac.uk/courses/science/ or call the application helpline on 0161 287 8000.