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Saturday, 02 August 2014

Pupils buoyed by BAE Systems Barrow boardroom challenge

THE boardroom, as epitomised in Lord Alan Sugar’s TV show The Apprentice, can be a daunting place.

But not for a group of nine and 10-year-olds who impressed bosses at a global defence giant.

Victoria Junior School pupils confidently presented their submarine project to bosses at BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, in Barrow.

Through Furness Education and Skills Partnership, the Barrow school piloted a project with BAE.

FESP aims for students and staff to make links with businesses in their local area, creating opportunities for businesses to shape young people to help them become ‘work ready’ and understand that they have skills that local employers want.

The Barrow pupils worked on a challenge to design, build and test a vessel which could float, sink in order to retrieve sunken cargo, and float again.

BAE graduates, who have roles as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) ambassadors, and Barrow Sixth Form College students, visited the school to work with the year five children.

Pupils were judged on their team work and communication as well as the overall success of the product.

The winning team was invited to present their work in the BAE boardroom on Thursday.

The pupils presented to a panel which included Tony Burbridge, safety and assurance director at BAE; Brian Benn, visits and events project leader; and Laura Lake, communications advisor.

They were also supported by the BAE graduates, Rob Chaplin, Natalie Marwood, Sean Stewart, and Kenny McMillan, and their teachers.

When asked what they all wanted to do when they grow up, the children replied “work here”.

Pupil Will Morrow, age nine, demonstrated the vessel successfully and explained the science behind it to Mr Burbridge and the panel.

Will said: “We have really enjoyed the project, the best part was coming here and demonstrating.”

Teacher Gill Simpson said: “The pupils were brilliant, and they were great presentations.”

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