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Visit aims to help engineer interest of school pupils

HANDS ON From left, Ian Sperring from Lockheed Martin with pupils Loren Dean, Laura Garratt and Serena Graham. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (14257-1)

HANDS ON From left, Ian Sperring from Lockheed Martin with pupils Loren Dean, Laura Garratt and Serena Graham. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (14257-1)

 

STUDENTS worked with experts from Lockheed Martin in a bid to get them enthused about a career in engineering.

The Year 9 pupils at Portsmouth Grammar School took part in the annual Lockheed Martin Engineering Challenge Day.

They were challenged to rescue a helicopter which had been forced to make a landing in a sandstorm and then become stuck and unable to take off.

They had to try and build a system to rescue the helicopter.

With the help of a team of 11 engineers from the firm, pupils spent the day constructing cranes to rescue the helicopter, solving problems and overcoming challenges such as budget constraints and whether materials were available.

Ben Goad is head of science at the school and said the day was a big success for all involved.

He said: ‘We’ve been running this day with Lockheed Martin for six years and it is something they refer to as inspiration when making subject option choices over the coming years.

‘Each year the pupils are fired up to do well in the challenge, though for the first time this year some were so inspired that they voluntarily worked through their lunch break on their product presentations.’

One team taking part took motivation from an unusual source, an all-girl team named themselves Team Sasha Fierce taking singer Beyoncé’s alter ego as inspiration.

Pupil Izzy Shambles, 13, who was part of the team, said: ‘The name was to encourage us to achieve what we wanted to do, even though engineering is normally thought of as a boy’s career choice.’

Bob Kramer is the vice president and group managing director at Lockheed Martin.

He said: ‘Through involvement in days like this we look to connect with our community and to fire up a passion in engineering. It’s that passion that we look for when recruiting engineers.

‘I remember going to days like this when I was at school, it was what inspired me to start off my career in engineering so we hope to do the same here.’

 

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