THE next generation of engineers have been inspired by the opportunities ahead for them to be involved in designing and building the world’s most technically advanced nuclear submarines – right here on their doorstep.
Secondary and college students were amazed as they ventured through the giant doors of Devonshire Dock Hall at BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, to see Astute class submarines at various stages of construction.
Future Engineers Day at BAE Systems saw 100 year nine students from Furness secondary schools, and 20 post-16 college students, experience Barrow’s shipyard first hand.
The day was run in partnership with Barrow Engineering Project, which is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, during National Science and Engineering Week.
This was the third Future Engineers Day, and it showcased to students how science, technology, engineering and maths can be used in successful careers in Barrow with the global defence company.
Alan Dunn, operations director at BAE Systems, spoke to the students about the Astute programme and the future Successor project. He also explained the importance of team work at the business which has a workforce of around 5,000 people.
He told them “Astute is ours, and Successor could be yours.”
The day involved a team challenge, where the students would work in mixed teams with young people from different schools. Each team also had a college student mentor.
The task was devised and set by the BAE Systems STEM ambassadors, who were overseeing the progress of the teams. The ambassadors have also been working with the college students on various projects.
The challenge was set around Archimedes’ buoyancy principle. The teams were told that there was sunken cargo off the coast of Barrow and they needed to retrieve it. They were required to design a vessel that could sink and rise to the surface again.
The students had to take on team roles, use their budget to buy materials, then design, build and eventually test their creation in a tank of water.
The students also benefited from hearing directly from people who have joined BAE Systems through different pathways, such as a graduate, a trainee and an apprentice.
Laura Lake, a communications advisor at BAE Systems, who organised the event with the partners, thanked all those who had contributed to making the event a great success.
Mrs Lake said that BAE Systems staff had praised the students for how well they had worked together and adjusted to the challenge.
She said: “We want to show young people that engineering is fun and a great career.
“The DDH visit is a real highlight of the day. It is awe inspiring for the students.
“It was quite a hard challenge that was set and it required teamwork.
“The students did not know one another and they really adjusted well and worked as a team to figure out solutions.”
Source – In Cumbria