Hartlepool pupils excel at engineering challenge

TALENT: Youngsters from Dyke House Sports and Technology College hard at work on the challenge.
TALENT: Youngsters from Dyke House Sports and Technology College hard at work on the challenge.

YOUNGSTERS from a Hartlepool school excelled in a wind industry project.

Around 200 pupils from Dyke House Sports and Technology College, off Mapleton Road, in Hartlepool, took part in the event over two days at their school.

It helped to show them the importance of the development of enterprise and work skills, and also to raise their awareness of potential job opportunities available in the off-shore wind industry.

There was a particular emphasis on STEM (science, engineering, technology and maths) careers with support from volunteers from the actual industries.

Students worked in groups of five and formed themselves into a mock Off Shore Wind Development Company, each taking a different role such as the designer, estimator, public relations, ecologist, or human resources member of staff, depending on their skills and personal strengths.

Pupils received an email brief inviting them to submit a proposal to build an off-shore wind farm.

They then split off into ‘expert role’ groups to find out about their jobs and how they could contribute to their company’s proposal.

They then re-joined their groups and as a team worked on their company proposal.

The students used engineering principles to build a wind pylon from paper to support the weight of a wind turbine.

Prizes, supplied by EDF Energy, were awarded throughout the day for good teamwork, creativity, craftsmanship, the teams’ overall proposal and of course whether the pylons that were built could support the weight of the wind turbine.

Kimberley King, technology teacher and STEM co-ordinator at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, said: “The students worked really well in their non-friendship groups and experienced in a practical way the skills needed for STEM-related careers.

“We are very grateful for the support from industry.

“EDF Energy provided engineers to lead the event and also money for prizes which was great.”

Other supporters of the day included STEM ambassadors from RTC North, apprentices from Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, and staff from Hartlepool Borough Council.

Sue Sheldrick, career development manager, said: “A thoroughly worthwhile day and the groups enjoyed themselves.”