Schools Engineering Challenge 2013

S2 pupils are taking part in this year’s challenge to design and build model ships using paper, card, sticky tape and glue. The teams will then go 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 will undertake a range of challenges, including trials to assess their speed, cargo carrying capability, sea keeping and survivability in rough seas.

Kevin McLeod, Engineering Director at BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships, said: “The challenge is a great way for pupils to get involved in engineering and demonstrate that it can be fun and innovative. We take the opportunity to highlight the potential career opportunities and inspire them to consider an exciting future in the industry, working on some of the largest and most complex projects in the UK.”

Ross Neilson, a participant from last year’s winners Bearsden Academy, said: “I have really enjoyed taking part in the challenge so far. It was great to get an idea of all the different elements that make up shipbuilding and I had no idea that there were so many different trades and people involved. Seeing the whole process from design to a finished part of a ship was really interesting.”

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. Pupils were also invited into the business’ Scotstoun shipyard to view part of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers under construction.

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.