En­gi­neers of the fu­tures

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A TEAM from North­wood School have scooped first place in a cod­ing chal­lenge.

The Year 8 Hilling­don school pupils met stu­dents from Eal­ing, Houn­slow, Slough and Spelthorne along with with Heathrow vol­un­teers and CEO for the fi­nals of the Sec­ondary School Chal­lenge.

More than 3,300 pupils from 21 schools around Heathrow, plus two Vir­tual Schools for chil­dren in care, were in­tro­duced to cod­ing and ro­bot­ics through the 2018 Heathrow Sec­ondary School Chal­lenge

Chal­lenge aimed at in­spir­ing young peo­ple by pro­vid­ing in­sight into the kind of skilled roles that will be avail­able to them in com­ing years

The bud­ding en­gi­neers landed at Heathrow’s head­quar­ters this week to join vol­un­teers and Heathrow’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive John Hol­land-Kaye for the air­port’s cod­ing chal­lenge fi­nale.

Win­ning teams from the bor­oughs of Eal­ing, Hilling­don, Houn­slow, Slough and Spelthorne, who par­tic­i­pated in this year’s Heathrow Sec­ondary School Chal­lenge, all took part.

The event con­cluded an­other suc­cess­ful year of Heathrow Sec­ondary School Chal­lenges, hav­ing reached over 3,300 young peo­ple in 21 schools this year alone. The chal­lenge saw stu­dents race to con­struct and pro­gramme their own mini ver­sion of the au­tonomous PODs that trans­port pas­sen­gers be­tween Heathrow’s Ter­mi­nal 5 and the long-stay car park.

Now in its ninth year, the an­nual chal­lenge taught Year 8 pupils about cod­ing and team­work. The pro­ject forms part of the Gov­ern­ment’s Year of En­gi­neer­ing pro­gramme which aims to get more young peo­ple to take up sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths and ad­dress the na­tional skills short­ages in those sub­jects.

North­wood pupils took first place in af­ter a close race where stu­dents ap­plied their learn­ings from pre­vi­ous in-school chal­lenges. As a re­ward for par­tic­i­pat­ing, chil­dren were treated to a land­side tour of the air­port, which in­cluded a stop at the PODs, so they could the in­spi­ra­tion for the test. Heathrow chief ex­ec­u­tive John Hol­land-Kaye said: “In­vest­ing in job skills through ini­tia­tives like Heathrow’s Sec­ondary Schools Chal­lenge is im­por­tant to us and the lo­cal schools we work closely with. My long­stand­ing vi­sion is that a fu­ture chief ex­ec­u­tive of Heathrow will come from one of our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. We want to en­sure the next gen­er­a­tion of lo­cal tal­ent is given ac­cess to new skills, in ar­eas such as en­gi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy, so that we can en­cour­age them to start think­ing about their fu­ture ca­reers today.”

Tak­ing place from March to May, the Chal­lenges were sup­ported by a to­tal of 124 Heathrow vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing en­gi­neers, who spoke to the chil­dren about what it’s like to work at the air­port.

Pupils from North­wood School in Hilling­don, Vil­liers School in Eal­ing and from Thames­mead and Thomas Knyvett Schools in Spelthorne at the cod­ing chal­lenge fi­nals

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