Hartlepool is pilot area for robotics programme

The Go Ahead team.
The Go Ahead team.
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Teachers from Hartlepool are putting the fun into engineering.

And after a day of finding out more about robotics, they will pass on their new-found skills to students.

There’s a lack of engineers across the region, and this is a brilliant way of getting them interested in the subject and to start gaining the skills needed

Scott Campbell, youth support worker, from Rossmere Youth Centre

Hartlepool is the focus of a pilot programme which could eventually be rolled out across the Tees Valley. Representatives from English Martyrs School, Manor College, Dyke House Sports and Technology College, High Tunstall College of Science, Catcote Academy, Hartlepool Sixth Form College, and Rossmere Youth Centre, attended the VEX Robotics training day.

The event was held by Go Ahead Training – the company launched to bridge the region’s engineering skills gap.

It stems from a massive shortfall in engineers, with about 100,000 needed within the next five years alone.

Teachers and youth leaders were split into teams. They had to build a robot’s chassis and body, code it to give the micro-machine commands, before using them to take part in a football-style competition.

Tia Harper, technology teacher and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) co-ordinator at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, in Catcote Road, said: “It’s been great and will be so good to take what I’ve learned back to the pupils.”

Scott Campbell, youth support worker, from Rossmere Youth Centre, said: “There’s a lack of engineers across the region, and this is a brilliant way of getting them interested in the subject and to start gaining the skills needed.”

Dave Spensley, Go Ahead Training’s managing director, said: “If we’re to bridge the skills which currently exists within the North East’s engineering and manufacturing sectors we have to get young people engaged and show them that there are careers out there for them.”