On 22nd March our Foundation Director, Sarah Smith, had the privilege of supporting our charity partner EESW (Engineering Education Scheme Wales) by presenting a Spectris Foundation award at their 6th Form Project Awards day in Swansea.

The EESW 6th Form Project encourages young people to consider engineering as a career. The Year 12 students were invited to tackle a real engineering problem and design an innovative solution. Over the last six months, over 500 Year 12 students from schools across North and South Wales have taken part in the project and been immersed in real-life engineering challenges, guided by their teachers and supported by industry professionals from link companies and universities.

Among the impressive projects that were showcased, Sarah had the very difficult task of selecting which team would receive the Spectris Foundation award for best use of IT/coding. From a shortlist of three excellent projects, Fitzalan High School, Group 2 was selected. Their challenge, presented by AECOM, was to enhance sustainability within the building of a local Welsh secondary school. As building electrical engineers, they had to find a way to capture enough renewable and sustainable energy to power the school and its mechanical and electrical building services equipment.

This team came up with a very innovative solution – harnessing the energy generated by students and teachers walking up and down stairs to generate, store, and release energy. Not only did their prototype clearly evidence how their design would work, but they had also gone a step further and used their IT and coding skills to create a video game to explain the concept of their design. Their presentation and team-working skills were also excellent.

Seeing the enthusiasm of these Year 12 students highlighted the importance of programs like EESW, which inspire young people to explore engineering and sustainability. A big thank you to EESW for organising such an engaging event and for showcasing the potential of our future engineers!

We are looking forward to working more closely with our charity partners on volunteering opportunities over the coming months!