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.

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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