St Mary’s runaway success in awards recognising future of engineering

A future generation of engineers from Primary and Secondary schools across the North, recently had national recognition for their innovative projects.

The Leaders Award, in partnership with Ulster University, Thales and Royal Navy, forms a key element of Primary Engineer Programmes – a not for profit organisation that offers schools, teachers and pupils projects to embed engineering in their curriculum and develop skills.

The competition challenged pupils from 3-19 to answer the question; “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”

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Pupils were required to interview an engineer, ask questions that help to develop a seed of an idea, then draw and annotate their design.

Beating off stiff competition Ava Connolly, a Year 8 pupil at St Mary’s College, secured the additional and coveted Royal Navy Award for her design, ‘The Digital Curfew’. There were a further four winners from St Mary’s College; Niamh McCallion (Year 8), Angel Breslin (Year 9) and Kate Nicholas McMonagle and Daisy Matthews (Year 10).

The school also achieved six distinctions and eight Judges Highly commended Awards in their submissions to the competition.

Following the awards ceremony, Clare Doherty, Head of Technology, St Mary’s College, said: “We were pleased to offer our Key Stage 3 students the opportunity to enter this year’s Leaders Award competition.

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“Our students grasped the opportunity and we are delighted their innovative ideas were so successful. Preparing students for the challenges of tomorrow is central to our thinking at St Mary’s College.

“This competition gave our students the chance to explore the many diverse and rewarding careers paths engineering offers.”

Ulster University’s Professor Colin Turner, President of the Engineering Professors’ Council added: “The Leaders’ Award is a great opportunity to engage children and pupils of all school ages in tackling problems through innovation, giving them a glimpse into industry and the many ways in which engineers transform lives, from every-day experiences to life saving inventions.

“The high standard of entries for this first year of competition in Northern Ireland has been truly impressive across the age groups and clearly demonstrates strong potential for the future of engineering locally as we build further on Northern Ireland’s rich engineering heritage and imagine the careers of the tomorrow.”

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