From 1 January until 31 December 2017, Hull will be the UK City of Culture and offer a 365-day programme of events ranging from art, theatre and music, to celebrations of science, engineering and creative problem-solving. Project Blyth is one such event, which will see innovative activity take place across schools and culminate in a high-profile Hull City Centre Street Race on Sunday 17 July.
Run by Greenpower Education Trust and funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company, Project Blyth consists of thirty-three IET Formula 24 teams (a category for those aged 11-16) being created in the Humber region. Based at schools, these teams must meet ten requirements, including raising 50% of the cost of the kit car themselves, 50% female participation, and research surveys completed by students, teachers and parents.
Each team is given financial backing, free training in Solid Edge CAD software from Siemens, and a strong link to a local employer who will offer various workplace inspirations. OSL are delighted to announce that we are one of these employers and have been matched with the superb Sirius Academy in Hull, which specialises in Environmental Science alongside its full curriculum.
Alastair Robertson, Principal Director, said: “Being linked with Sirius Academy is mutually beneficial, forming a valuable conduit between our multi-disciplined specialists and the school’s budding engineers. We anticipate a multitude of conversations will open up as a result.”
Having registered as STEM Ambassadors through STEM Learning and the Greenpower Education Trust, our teams are now preparing to start working alongside students and teachers in their natural environment. As part of this, OSL’s industry professionals will bring vocational inspiration, a wide skill set, and the engineering know-how required to design, build, maintain and ultimately race a fully functional Formula 24 car.
“We have a long history of working closely with schools and students,” added Alastair, “from talks and work placements to mentoring and helping young people gain specific qualifications. Project Blyth is the perfect addition to our commitment to shaping the next generation of engineers.”
According to the Project Blyth website, pupils with four or more contacts with employers are significantly less likely to become NEET and can expect to earn up to 18% more than those without. With employability a crucial focus of OSL’s work with young people, we are confident that our involvement in this incredible project will greatly benefit individual students both now and long-term.
Representatives of OSL will visit Sirius Academy regularly to advise, provide training, oversee operations, and of course have plenty of motivational conversations. Whilst the children develop in-depth skills and gain a great sense of empowerment, the employers can use the opportunity to raise the talent pool of potential employees and fuel two-way communication. From a public perspective Project Blyth is thrilling and fun, whilst at deeper levels it could guide students to become future leaders and influencers in science and engineering.
Project Blyth Coordinator Vaughan Curnow said: “This project engages with all abilities and gets young people enthused, engaged and thinking about what to do with their lives. Not only does the scheme allow young people to develop STEM skills, it also teaches those softer skills of team working, communication and assertiveness. We use our Greenpower kit cars literally as vehicles for social change”.
With build days, competitions, a careers fair, many hours of collaboration and of course the race itself on the horizon, everyone at OSL is very excited for 2017.
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