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Engineers of the future take part in naval challenge

Schools Engineering Challenge
Glasgow, United Kingdom: Students from Saint Roch’s Secondary School have sailed their way to success to be crowned winners of this year’s BAE Systems schools engineering challenge.

First and second year pupils from 12 schools in the Glasgow area took part in the eight week challenge to design and build model ships using paper, card, sticky tape and glue. This week, the teams went head to head to put their models through their paces at the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The models undertook a range of challenges, including trials to assess their speed, cargo carrying capability, sea keeping and survivability in rough seas.

Raquel Taylor, a member of the winning team from Saint Roch’s, said: “The challenge has been great fun and we’ve really enjoyed making our model and testing it. We’re very proud to have won the competition and see our ship do so well in the trials.”

Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division, said: “The challenge is a great way to encourage local schools pupils to get involved with engineering and technology and show them the types of opportunities which exist in the industry. By taking a practical and fun approach, I hope that we’ve helped to inspire pupils to develop their interest in this area and consider a career in engineering.”

Each school was assigned a BAE Systems ambassador to work with the budding engineers, providing guidance and practical advice on the design and build of their model ships. The ambassadors visited the schools on a weekly basis to help pupils to develop an understanding of the basic principles of engineering and naval architecture. Pupils were also invited into the Company’s Scotstoun shipyard to tour Dragon, the fourth Type 45 destroyer being built on the Clyde for the Royal Navy.

Schools participating in this year’s competition included:  Bearsden Academy, Clydebank High School, Glasgow Gaelic School, Hyndland Secondary School, Knightswood Secondary School, Notre Dame High School, Our Lady and Saint Patrick's High School, Port Glasgow High School, Saint  Roch’s Secondary School, Stobhill School, The High School of Glasgow and Trinity High School (Renfrew).

A team from Notre Dame High School secured the runner up spot in the competition.

BAE Systems is one of the biggest UK supporters of education and skills, investing £50 million per annum to support its commitment to life-long learning. As the UK’s largest employer of skilled engineers, the Company is committed to encouraging young people to take a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and maths to counter the decline in those choosing engineering as a career.

Further details of its innovative approach to develop a clearer understanding of engineering and its application in the world around us can be found on a dedicated website, which details a range of free on-line resources for pupils and teachers.

Supporting images of the event can be found on the online multimedia library at

Issued by:
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739