Primary schoolchildren experience engineering excellence this British Science Week

Young students got hands-on with crawler robots, drone simulators, and 3D printers at a state-of-the art engineering centre to celebrate British Science Week.

More than 50 children were treated to an immersive experience at Sellafield Ltd’s Engineering Centre of Excellence, shining a light on the exciting careers available in robotics, artificial intelligence, and more.

The visit from Distington Community School to the engineering centre at Cleator Moor saw children aged seven to 11 set a series of engineering challenges.

They enjoyed a host of activities led by the team at the centre, each set up to show the diversity within an engineering career. Some tried their hand at constructing marshmallow and spaghetti towers, night rover robots, and paper rockets, while others took to the sky on a drone simulator.

The school visit was timed with British Science Week, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) that runs from March 8-17. Through these events, the Engineering Centre of Excellence team endeavour to peak children’s interest in STEM subjects.

The activities gave students an interactive opportunity to practice their scientific knowledge in an environment outside the classroom, where they were able to ask questions and learn more about life as an engineer.

Claire O’Connor, Socio-Economic lead at the Engineering Centre of Excellence, said: “It’s always a pleasure to see the kids interacting with our team and enjoying all aspects of STEM. We enjoy these days just as much as they do, and we hope that the students from Distington left the centre with enthusiasm for a career in engineering.

“This is where it starts, the experiences you have at school shape your attitude and expertise for the future. We want to play our part in laying the foundation for the next generation of engineers and innovators.”

From Year Three to Year Six, the visitors from Distington School thoroughly enjoyed what was on offer.

Scarlett, a Year Five student, said: “There has been lots to do and I’ve really enjoyed it. The drone simulator was my favourite, and I managed to drive it without crashing. I’ve never done something like that before.”

Olivia from Year Three said: “The Lego was definitely my favourite, I have Lego sets at home but I got to build a robot with my friends here. We also saw a robot dog walk down the stairs!”

Teachers from Distington School approached the Centre of Excellence to help them expand on their science curriculum.

Steven Bragg, Year Four Teacher and Science Lead, said: “Science feeds into everyday life, and with so many STEM careers here in Cumbria we wanted to let the children see what was right on their doorstep.”

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