All Routes Lead to STEM

CEA (Construction Equipment Association) focus on inspiring Young Engineers once again at the Plantworx 2019 construction machinery exhibition…
The CEA and the Plantworx event have been supporting the Primary and Secondary Engineer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) programme since 2017, when the inaugural collaborative ‘celebration’ event took place at the show. Schools in the Leicestershire area made the journey to the exhibition to present their projects to supporting CEA members and Plantworx exhibitors, who came together as judges for the day’s proceedings.
Earlier this year the CEA, several member companies and Plantworx supported the scheme for a second year offering sponsorship, training and support to schools in the Coventry area. The ‘celebration’ event was hosted by local robotics company FANUC UK, based in Ansty Park, Coventry, during the last week of the school term.
Pupils aged between eight and ten, from local schools including, The Dassett C of E Primary School, Southam, and Wheelwright Lane Primary School, Coventry, were invited to FANUC’s showroom where they demonstrated vehicles they had constructed with the help of their teachers and engineers at Primary Engineer.
The vehicles were judged on aspects such as research, design, material elements, quality of build, distance and accuracy of travel. Amongst the judges were Nick Ground, CEO of sponsor company GKD Technologies alongside GKD marketing director Nigel Baseley. Rob Oliver, CEO CEA, Nylacast’s sales and marketing manager Junaid Makda, alongside Nylacast apprentices, David Farrar managing director TriMark Europe and managing director BSP International Foundations, David Redhead – all were sponsoring companies. Other sponsors included Perkins, Mecalac, Datatag and Gomaco.
The winners received medals and certificates from CEA’s chief executive Rob Oliver and FANUC UK’s sales and marketing manager, Andrew Armstrong.
Dale Hawkins from UK Plant Operators also brought a machine simulator along to the event – much to the delight of the children who got the opportunity to operate a dump truck on a virtual building site.
School teacher Rachel Williams is the Science Lead at The Dassett Primary School – commenting on the Primary Engineer programme, she said, “Events such as this one provides the children with much-needed experience of what engineering and manufacturing means today.
Once I attended the training event we decided to take this on as a whole school project. We ran this as a complete science week with all children from KS1 & KS2 taking part.  Each of the children made their own model at no cost to them.  We funded this through holding a science fair for the community. Parents also attended workshops with their child.”
Mrs Williams concluded, “This has been an excellent project for us and its impact has been far reaching.  Attending the celebration event has been very beneficial – a day to remember!  The children were also enthralled by the simulator machine – what a thoughtful and useful addition to the day.  We have one young boy in our class who struggles with literacy – he enjoyed making the model and was so engaged with the entire project – but to also get to operate a machine on a simulator was the icing on the cake for him. We will be including this in the curriculum in the next school year.” ​
Laura Frankham, events account manager at Primary Engineer, says: “Events like this one encourage children to gain more of an understanding of what it means to be an engineer. By working with parents, teachers and children, our goal is to inspire the next generation of engineers through practical, fun and collaborative programmes. We are delighted that CEA and Plantworx are on board again for the 2019 event.”
The wheels are in motion for Primary Engineer to attend Plantworx 2019 at the East of England Arena and Showground in Peterborough (Thursday 13th June). The CEA is delighted to be supporting this event with additional backing from Railworx.
CEA and Plantworx has pledged to fund more than 15 Primary and Secondary schools for the 2018/19 Academic Year in the Peterborough area with the addition of the kit packs for previously trained Leicester and Coventry Schools – so they too can take part in the programme once again.
There are sponsorship opportunities available for this years’ CEA and Primary Engineer project and the CEA would be delighted if CEA Members and associated companies would like to be involved.  Sponsorship is just £800.00 to support teacher training and materials.
All companies involved will be offered publicity opportunities both online, in-print and will be invited to be part of the judging panel at the ‘Celebration Event’.
For more information, please contact Louise Murphy on 07730 617258 or email [email protected]
Source;  CEA and Plantworx Press