Engineers of the futures
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