Engineering in Schools

The Channel Islands Group of Professional Engineers is working with Young Engineers to involve young people with the engineering profession.

If you would like to know how you can get involved, please contact the CIGPE committee.

Cardboard Boat Competition 2018 and 2019

The 8th of July 2019 saw CIGPE host the 2nd annual cardboard boat race. This year 9 teams from year 9 competed for 3 prizes: fastest round the island at back, most boat-like and the most coveted prize of all, the Cardboard Paddle for the Swiftest Sinking.

The day started with designing the boat followed by the build. Each team was given the same range of cardboard including boxes and tubes with which to construct their boat. Various designs were chosen from boats with deep v-shaped hulls (supposedly for stability) to boats that more resembled rafts (supposedly for stability). Some teams designed pointed prows to push through the water faster while other teams stuck with a squared off design they hoped would be more rigid.

Over lunch the boats were painted with varnish to make them waterproof before the big race. The challenge was to place the boat in the water, for two team members to enter the boat and for them to propel it round the lido island before returning safely to shore. In the end 7 of our 9 teams succeeded in this challenge marking a significant improvement over 2018 with two teams competing for the cardboard paddle.

Congratulations to all those who took part, we’re now looking forward to Cardboard Boat Race 2020!

Jersey Skills Show

CIGPE has had a stand at the Jersey Skills show for the last few years and encourages students to enter into the world of engineering for their careers and offers advice on how to do so. Come see us on Friday 19th October 2018 from 10am to 6.30pm if you would like to speak to any of our committee regarding advice on joining the engineering community.

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Primary Engineer

We are looking for local engineers to support our Primary Engineer program, delivering fun and exciting activities to the classrooms of our Jersey primary schools.


What is Primary Engineer?

Primary Engineer is a non-profit organisation that runs a range of engineering-based courses.  For children aged 8-12, primary Engineer have developed two engineering projects that are linked to the national curriculum – one involves building a shoebox vehicle and the second involves building an electric vehicle.

Skills Jersey are providing the funding to cover training costs for teachers from several local Primary schools on how to run these projects in the classroom and use the associated classroom kits.  We are seeking volunteers from the world of engineering to train alongside the teachers across two twilight sessions on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th October at 2.30pm – 5.00pm (location TBC).

What would your involvement be if you choose to volunteer?

  • Participation in a Structure and Mechanism with Basic Electrics event. You will be matched with a teacher and will jointly learn the two Primary Engineer “Build a Car” projects together.
  • Depending on the time you can offer, you will be supporting a school for circa 4 x 2 hour sessions in the classroom during the school year to assist the teacher when running the project with the children (the timing of these sessions to be agreed jointly with your partner school).
  • Participation in the celebration event at the end of the school year (if you wish to).

How do you register your interest?

  • If you would like to register your interest please contact Lauren Nightingale on
  • If you would like to learn more about the programme please call or email Dave Roworth, the programme coordinator from Skills Jersey., Tel 440722.

For more information visit

Dorothee Martin Award

At the Guernsey Careers and Skills Showcase on 23rd March 2017 CIGPE presented Aimee Gavey (Ladies College) with the 2017 Dorothee Martin award. The competition, released into all the Guernsey Secondary Schools, involved creating a proposal for an alternative transport solution for Guernsey. Aimee’s entry of the “Eco Expressway” was judged as being particularly imaginative and thorough whilst offering solutions to some of the potential issues highlighted in the proposal. Other Highly Commended entries were Kate Bain – “Ride with the Tide” and Hannah Jones – “Magnetic Railway”.

National Women in Engineering Day

On 23rd June 2016, CIGPE took part in Guernsey’s National Women in Engineering Day (NWED).  Students from across the island were invited to attend this event at Guernsey’s College of Further Education, and around 40 girls – typically in years 9 and 10 – took part, visiting from at least four different schools.

The attendees took part in a number of technical activities, (in rotation – in small groups).  These included; 3D printing, controlling small robot arms, ‘pit stop’ activities on a go-kart, and diagnostic work on a family car engine.

In between these activities, the girls heard short presentations from a number of people – including Guernsey’s new ‘student of the year’, a female engineering student from the College of Further Education, (now heading off to University on the mainland).

CIGPE provided two speakers for the event:

Catherine Harris (MICE), of Guernsey Water, who spoke about her career in engineering.She also spoke about her experience, and the experiences of other female students, while studying and training.

Paul Armstrong (MIStructE), spoke briefly about Dorothée Martin (an islander who held senior engineering positions in the UK during the war years), and went on to speak about how the environment in which female engineers now train and work has changed in recent years.

Both Catherine and Paul strongly encouraged the attendees to seriously consider careers in engineering, stressing the worth and satisfaction of this work and pointing out the general skills shortage in this part of the UK’s economy.

The attendees listened, and appeared to enjoy, the activities and presentations.  There were a number of probing questions asked – particular by a few girls whose interest had evidently been piqued.

Feedback from the event was very good.  Schools taking part warmly praised the event, and expressed their intention to take part again next year.  The College of Further Education is planning to run the event next year, and hopes to expand it.

“Letting off  STEAM” Workshop

On 25th May 2016, CIGPE took part in organising and hosting the first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) workshop for students in Guernsey. Pupils from Guernsey’s Grammar School were invited to attend a lunchtime lecture presented by local Civil Engineer Jenny Giles (MEng CEng MICE) based on the many challenges associated with the project of the renovating the Hanois Lighthouse landing before a select group of 14 students were invited to attend an after-school event based on solving one of the challenges associated with the Hanois Lighthouse project.

The attendees of the after school workshop were placed in seven groups of two and challenged to complete a small project that involved suspending a 150 gram weight 30cm from the edge of a work bench (simulating supporting a drilling rig from the edge of a boat landing). The students were given the use of hot glue, paper straws and string and given twenty minutes to complete the challenge before each entry were load tested before positive and constructive feedback on each design was offered to the group by the guest speaker Jenny Giles.

The activity was set with very few guidelines and left scope for all designs and countless potential solutions meaning that each group finished the challenge with a unique solution to varying successes.

The students were keen to test each structure to destruction and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event. Feedback from CIGPE representatives, assistants and teachers at the event was positive and it is hoped the event can be run in line with future CIGPE lectures providing a new topic and guest speaker/ advisor from the engineering community for each event.

CIGPE has expressed our thanks to the Guernsey Grammar School, Education Department, Makerspace Guernsey and Young Engineers and we hope to work together to continue to expand the project into other Guernsey Schools in the future.

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