Nine schools have already signed up to take part and the collective is now looking for another three teams to join, making it almost twice the size of last year’s eight-hour challenge. Teams of four pupils will be invited to tackle the demanding brief that will involve designing and making a mechanical device (details revealed on the day) using just basic tools and materials.
The teams are offered support from MAN member apprentices and encouraged to develop their ideas through trial and analysis. Each device is then tested by a qualified panel of engineers, with prizes awarded to the schools in three different categories: efficiency, innovation and manufacturing. The winning schools will be presented with a 3D printer from CREATE Education, which will be supporting ‘Design and Make’ for the second year as part of its commitment to promoting STEM topics.
Austin Owens, managing director of Grove Design and the inspiration for the challenge, says: “Last year was a phenomenal success and the feedback we’ve received from pupils and teachers has encouraged us to do as much as we can to engage young people who may be considering a career in engineering by showing them some of the skills that will help them develop in this field.
“Everyone is talking about the skills shortage and bemoaning the Government for not sorting it out,” he adds. “We prefer a different approach; taking back control and using our own expertise and experience to create a fun day that will hopefully spark imaginations and get young people thinking about a possible career in manufacturing.
“You can see the students visibly change during the day, and the confidence they get from seeing their ideas put into action. It’s a great atmosphere and especially rewarding to see our own apprentices and graduates getting involved and mentoring their peers.”
Michelle Chatterley, head of CREATE Education, says: “CREATE Education collaborates with many organisations who share our values and MAN is a great example, providing a unique opportunity for young people to develop relevant skills. The ‘A’ in CREATE is ‘Access’, and this is a vital part of what we aim to achieve so that as many people as possible can bring to life their own design-thinking skills.”