Pupils inspired with helicopter challenge in Gosport

Pupils took part in an event organised by Lockheed Martin in which they had to build a system to recover a helicopter which had ditched in a desert. From left, Admiral Lord Nelson School pupils Charlie Wrixon, 13, Ellen Watts, 14, Simon Manchip, 13, Oakley Perkinson, 13, and Caitlin Cross, 13. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143512-2)
Pupils took part in an event organised by Lockheed Martin in which they had to build a system to recover a helicopter which had ditched in a desert. From left, Admiral Lord Nelson School pupils Charlie Wrixon, 13, Ellen Watts, 14, Simon Manchip, 13, Oakley Perkinson, 13, and Caitlin Cross, 13. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143512-2)

Ferry firm’s newest accolade is ‘good loos’

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ENGINEERS of the future tried their hands at rescuing a stricken helicopter.

Defence firm Lockheed Martin invited 60 Year 9 students from schools to the event at Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport.

The Merlin MK2 Rescue Mission was taken on by Year 9 students.

They worked in teams to design, build and test – on a model scale – a system to rescue a helicopter that has made a forced landing in desert conditions.

They were split into teams of five and asked to devise a mechanism to rescue and lift the chopper.

Young people from schools including Mayfield, Admiral Lord Nelson, City of Portsmouth Boys, Priory, Springfield, and Cowplain Community took part.

The team from Cowplain Community School won the overall task.

Teacher Simon Curtis said: ‘The team worked well together bringing each member in to develop the ideas and strategies.

‘They all focused on the task and there wasn’t a single point at which they weren’t all making good use of time and resources to be the best.’

Jacquie Jones, project manager at the Portsmouth & South East Hampshire Education Business Partnership, said: ‘We need to inspire young people to become the engineers of the future. The challenge involved technology, engineering and maths.

‘Students gained confidence in team working, communication, creativity and negotiation skills for the finance aspect of the activity.

‘The opportunity to engage with Lockheed Martin employees helped in shaping the young people’s opinion, attitude and perception of the world of work.

‘The day was well organised, and the young people had the added bonus of touring the host venue, the Explosion Museum – if you could tear them away from their activity.

‘They were so keen to continue their structure.’

Graduates and apprentices from Lockheed Martin gave them advice on how to build their machine, helping them with finance and talking 
to them about their own career paths into Lockheed Martin.