Future in engineering opens up for Sheffield pupils

Pupils at Woodseats Primary School with one of their engineering task constructions
Pupils at Woodseats Primary School with one of their engineering task constructions

Potential young engineers of the future had fun creating solutions to problems set for them in a work exercise.

Pupils at Woodseats Primary School took part in a special activity designed by Claire Jeavons, an EngD research engineer at the University of Sheffield AMRC.

As part of Inspiring Primary Engineers, a programme designed to open up future possibilities for primary age children, Claire visited Woodseats and described her role before setting real engineering tasks.

Claire also helped teachers to plan and resource lessons across a full term to ensure pupils had the skills to address each problem using cross curricular subjects.

Helen Morris of Woodseats School said: “Children across five year groups were involved in a range of engineering projects and activities and came up with some amazing designs and models.

“The children were also involved in using a 3D printer for some of their activities and had great fun while they learned!”

Engineers are in high demand in the UK, yet children often dismiss engineering as a career. Under this programme teachers from local school networks are invited to attend coaching sessions and share resources. Class engineering ambassadors form cross-year teams, develop skills and pass on their learning to their classes.

An engineering fair at the end of the exercise allows prizes to be awarded to each year group class that has demonstrated the best solution.

Each year of the programme runs, children discover new engineering disciplines and develop skills to solve new problems, while teachers build their own

confidence and skills in delivery of science, technology, engineering and maths.

It is hoped that engineering as a career will attract more pupils as they move up to secondary education. Inspiring Primary Engineers is funded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.