Celebrating engineers of the future with Primary Engineer

Engineers in the making gathered at the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre on 12th June to celebrate the culmination of their achievements in the Primary Engineer Rail Project.

Students from seven primary schools took part in the celebration after spending months learning about rail engineering from industry professionals. The students were teamed up with Porterbrook engineers to research and build their own model trains.

This Rail Project is a Primary School programme which is delivered across the UK through Primary Engineer, a not-for-profit organisation whose vision is to ensure all children and pupils achieve their full potential through engagement with engineering. The seven Warwickshire-based schools that took part in this project were funded by Porterbrook, following similar support of several East Midlands schools based near the company’s Derby office.

With the guidance of Porterbrook’s engineers, Key Stage 1 students built a ‘shoe box train’, learning how to design and decorate their own shoe boxes, using string to create brakes for their vehicles. Key Stage 2 students built an electrically powered train, making their own chassis and learning about electronic circuits, using paper clips as their power switches.

These builds were showcased at the June event where Porterbrook COO Ben Ackroyd gave out a variety of prizes, including Best Theme and Best Communicator, as well as winners and runners up in the two Key Stage categories.

Ben Ackroyd, COO of Porterbrook, said: “Helping to support a diverse future workforce for the rail sector is important to us, as is our relationship and connection with the community local to us at the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre. That’s why we’re proud to be supporting Primary Engineer with their Rail Projects. We have a team of passionate engineers at Porterbrook and it was fantastic to see that met with a real enthusiasm and eagerness to learn from the students throughout this programme.”

Andrew Norris, Head of Partnerships for Central and East England at Primary Engineer said “Inspiring the next generation of engineers is our aim and I could tell from the excited faces of the children that the Primary Engineer Rail Project has opened their eyes to the engineering opportunities ahead of them. Many thanks to Porterbrook for their support, the enthusiasm of their engineers and their commitment to the community in which they work.”