The UK’s London Gatwick Airport has launched a three-year school program, designed to get children thinking about a career in engineering.
The program will involve 15 primary schools and five local secondary schools in the Gatwick vicinity and – as part of their continued professional development – the teachers will be offered opportunities to learn new techniques that bring engineering-related projects to life in the classroom and in the school curriculum.
Engineers from Gatwick will also visit the schools and arrange airport tours to build interest and connections between local young people and engineers in the field.
To deliver the program, Gatwick is partnering with Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer – a not-for-profit educational organization that aims to improve primary and secondary school pupils’ skills and awareness of engineering. It also aims to highlight potential career pathways through teacher training and class projects, as well as providing a mechanism for close collaboration with pupils, educators, industry and parents.
Gatwick’s head engineer, Antony Yates, said, “Inspiring the next generation of engineers is vital for Gatwick Airport and thousands of other businesses up and down the country. Our aim is to make engineering interesting to all, irrespective of gender or socio-economic background. Ultimately, we want to make sure that we have a pipeline of young local engineering talent that can come and keep the airport, our partners and our supply chains running in the years ahead.”
To launch the program, Gatwick joined Facebook and Network Rail as national partners in the ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ competition, run by Primary Engineer.
Over 49,000 children from across the UK entered the competition in 2018/19. A giant advertising hoarding called ‘The Wall of Fame’ will showcase designs that have been brought to life by engineers at supporting universities. The exhibition is on display in the South Terminal for three weeks from August 13, enabling Gatwick’s 125,000-plus daily visitors to vote for their favorite creation.