BAE Systems brings engineering to life at Portsmouth schools’ roadshow

ROBOT From left, Alexander Black as robot, (centre) Veanessa Pound and Jerome Wilson.  Pictures: Allan 'Hutchings '(113866-060)
ROBOT From left, Alexander Black as robot, (centre) Veanessa Pound and Jerome Wilson. Pictures: Allan 'Hutchings '(113866-060)
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EXCITED schoolchildren discovered the wonderful world of engineering at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

The BAE Systems Schools Roadshow began yesterday with the company’s robot character ‘Brains’ introducing pupils to the varied role engineering plays in shipbuilding and military life.

BIG DAY Sam Bennett  from Copnor Junior School (113866-022)

BIG DAY Sam Bennett from Copnor Junior School (113866-022)

Pupils from Paulsgrove Primary, Copnor Juniors and Cottage Grove Primary schools then got hands on in programming a robot car around a track, looked at how to learn from nature to create new designs and discovered the scientific history of the Royal Navy.

The roadshow travels the UK and aims to reach 25,000 children aged between nine and 14 by the end of the year.

Over the next two weeks, it will have visited 20 schools in the Portsmouth area.

Jerome Wilson, who runs the roadshow for BAE Systems said: ‘A lot of the kids are not entirely sure what engineering means so this is a way of explaining to them it’s about a lot more than building engines. We want to show them how much fun science and engineering can be.’

Statistics show only one in 10 pupils study science after the age of 16 and BAE’s roadshow aims to inspire more youngsters to do the subject.

Shubha Behara, 10, from Cottage Grove Primary School in Southsea, said: ‘We’ve been programming a computer to control a robot car step by step around a track.

‘It’s been hard but it’s a lot of fun. I’ve never done anything like this before.’

Meanwhile, Billy Rhoden was busy drawing on nature to design a new product downstairs in the Victory Gallery.

The nine-year-old Paulsgrove Primary pupil said: ‘I’m drawing a hat made from a crab’s shell because it’s hard and will protect your head. Also, it’s got legs so it can walk off and put itself away when you don’t need it.

‘No, it won’t pinch you.’