Children design sustainable railway system for Southsea
PRIMARY school childrenÂ have been taking part in technology challenge days to createÂ a sustainable transport system for the city.
The pupils were given the brief of designing a model rail system for Southsea which could be powered byÂ sustainable sources. The event was hosted over two days at Portsmouth High School where children were joined byÂ girls from nine other schools.Â
Event organiser and assistant head teacher Graeme Field said: '˜It is really important to embed an understanding of sustainable practices. Bournemouth Council haveÂ discussed the idea of a new monorail system andÂ I have always thought it wouldÂ be great if we could create a high level environmentally friendly system here.'
The children's designsÂ were judged by representatives from Portsmouth University and engineering companyÂ Lockheed Martin. A key focusÂ is to develop an an interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)Â and encourage girls to aspire toÂ traditionallyÂ male dominated careers.
Judge and aerospace engineer Francesca Duhig said: '˜It instils in girlsÂ that engineering jobs are not just for boys.'
Fellow judge and software engineer Phoebe Chapman added: '˜We are stillÂ young femalesÂ and it lets the girls see that if we can do it then so can they.'
The promotion of STEM learning was something which attracted schools to the event. '˜It is good to get the girls involved in technology and going through the design process of making things,' said Scott Butler,Â teacher at St Jude's.
'˜I don't think that technology based subjects are pushed enough with girls,' added Trudy Sargeant, teaching assistant at Wimborne Junior School.
With names such as Dragon Star, Wave Flash and Dancing Dolphin, the designs incorporated a mix of solar, wind and wave power.
Portsmouth High School student, Verity Kidson, nine, said: '˜Our designÂ is powered by the wind as exhaust fumes are bad for the environment.'
Fellow pupilÂ Arabella West, nineÂ , added: '˜It wasÂ great to meet with children from other schools.Â In the future I may want to be aÂ scientist.'