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How local schools have won big at national engineering competition

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Published on 6, June, 2024

Photo courtesy of Primary Education
Photo courtesy of Primary Education

Pupils from schools across the north-east have visited the University of Sunderland to receive awards and recognition for their engineering ideas.

These budding engineers have taken part in a national competition, run by Primary Engineer, where they answered the question: “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”

Pupils got the chance to interview an engineer and were then tasked with identifying a problem in the world around them to come up with a creative solution to that issue.

This national competition saw over 71,000 pupils from across the UK take part where entries are then graded by industry professionals before going to regional judging panels with two winners and two highly commended in each year group.

The highly commended and winning pupils were awarded trophies and framed certificates of their ideas, with 27 pupils from schools in Sunderland, Newcastle and Teesside being celebrated.

Every year University and Industry Partners of Primary Engineer select an idea to turn into a working prototype. This year's prototype, 'The Self Regulation Bracelet', was unveiled at the ceremony.

The device was designed by Zoeya, who was a Year 3 at Bridgewater Primary School in Newcastle and helps school pupils control their emotions and communicate them to the teacher.

Dave Knapton, Associate Head of the School of Engineering at the University, said: “We really enjoyed hosting the award ceremony at the University of Sunderland and celebrating all the fantastic ideas which have been shortlisted.

"The problems that the young engineers solve often relate to real-world ecological problems and ways we can look after our planet or help people overcome challenges in their day-to-day lives."

Dave added: "The Self Regulation bracelet certainly fits into this category to help neurodivergent pupils and teachers communicate in the classroom. Zoeya has come up with a novel idea, it is always a highlight for the team to unveil the prototype and see the reaction from the inventor.”

Scott Dalgleish, Head of Marketing and Communications at Primary Engineer, said: “I was so thrilled to be in Sunderland to host our Award Ceremony for our north-east region.

"Over 71,000 pupils took part in the competition this year so to be able to celebrate so many in a region we have worked in for many years felt like a real triumph. And the look on Zoeya’s face when the prototype was unveiled will not be forgotten soon.”

If you are interested in studying Engineering at the University, find out more here: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/engineering/undergraduate-mechanical-engineering/