Pupils from 13 local schools took part in this year’s 8 week challenge to design and build model ships using paper, card, sticky tape and glue. The first trials took place at both the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and the BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships site in Scotstoun. Following a highly competitive two days of heats 13 teams were narrowed down to the six teams who made last week's final competition. Their models undertook a range of challenges, including trials to assess their speed, cargo carrying capability, sea keeping and survivability in rough seas, with the ship from Bearsden Academy beating out the rest of the competition to take the title.
Kevin McLeod, Engineering Director at BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships, said: “I am pleased for the winning team and it was great to see vast amounts of enthusiasm amongst the students taking part. The Schools Engineering Challenge is a great way for us to show the next generation of engineers the fun and innovative side of engineering and gives us the opportunity to highlight potential career prospects.”
Jamie Moore, a student from the winning team, said: “The challenge was hard but it was exciting to see our model coming together and then making it through all of the trials. It was really great to learn all about how ships are built and it was exciting to get to put that into practice with our own model.”
Each school is 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 develop an understanding of the basic principles of engineering and naval architecture.
The team from Port Glasgow High School secured the runner up spot in the competition with Loudres High School coming in a very close third.
Schools participating in this year’s competition are Bearsden Academy, Glasgow Gaelic School, Notre Dame High School, Clydebank High School, Port Glasgow High School, St. Roch's Secondary School, Hermitage Academy, Smithycroft Secondary School, Williamwood High School, Woodfarm High School, Eastwood High School, Loudres High School and Govan High School.
BAE Systems invests £79m per year in education, training and skills related activities. This includes funding the company’s apprentice and graduate training programmes, schools liaison and university research and development programmes. As one of the largest employers of skilled engineers in the UK, BAE Systems is committed to encouraging young people to take a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. The schools engineering challenge forms part of BAE Systems’ Skills 2020 programme, which will help ensure the company has the skills to compete successfully over the next decade and beyond.