Picture slideshow: students take part in engineering challenge day

Pupils from Houghton Conquest Lower School and Firs Lower School tested their science, technology, and teamwork skills by becoming ‘STEM detectives’ and taking part in a one-day challenge, supported by Lockheed Martin UK and delivered by educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust.

60 young engineers aged eight and nine, worked in small teams to carry out two challenges, including designing and building a balloon powered ‘speed vehicle’ from corrugated plastic, dowel and plastic wheels.

Engineering challenge with school children at Lockhead Martin.

Engineering challenge with school children at Lockhead Martin.

The pupils were also tasked with creating a parachute and protective outer shell for an egg, which was dropped from a height.

Vice president and managing director at Lockheed Martin UK Alan Lines said: “As a UK employer, it’s fantastic to have the chance to excite the next generation about the possibilities of STEM projects and careers through an initiative like this. It’s really important to show students that maths and science are not boring subjects by engaging them in fun, creative engineering challenges.”

Following the STEM Day, the schools were provided with a free STEM-in-a-Box, providing them with the resources to set up a STEM club.

Over a term, pupils will design and build a propelled glider to see which can stay in the air as long as possible and travel the furthest distance in the air.

The one-day challenge is part of a series of countrywide events with local schools and is designed to enhance pupils’ problem solving, team working, commercial and financial skills. It is also geared to complement the National Curriculum.

Houghton Conquest Lower School teacher Catrina Trotter said: “This project is a great opportunity for us to put science and engineering theory into practice. It will really encourage our pupils to connect what they learn inside of the classroom with what actually happens in a working environment.”

Lockheed Martin is the world’s leading innovative technology company. The company employs more than 3,000 people in the UK across 20 sites, working on a wide range of major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.