A team of young people from Tor Bridge High are set for a challenging six months having committed to working with the Royal Navy’s Devonport Flotilla Engineering Support Group (DEVFLOT ESG) as part of the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) run by education charity EDT.
Tor Bridge High have taken part in EES for many years and DEVFLOT ESG even longer, but the school and the Royal Navy have been working together to participate in the EES for the past three years. The Tor Bridge team this year comprises Joe Baber, Rueben Higgins, Kyle Tyler and Aaron Wray. All the students are in their first year of sixth form and have been set the challenge of designing a man-portable marinised Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which could operate from a small ship or submarine, providing close-range airborne surveillance and early warning.
The project starts at a launch event at HMS Raleigh at Torpoint on the 16th October but in some ways the road the students are taking is well-travelled, as EDT Director South West Chris Ward explains;
“In undertaking EES this year the team from Tor Bridge are part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for EES which is the longest running business/education linking project in the UK and still represents the benchmark for what such linking should be seeking to achieve. Over the years more than 30,000 young people aged 16/17 have taken part in EES and our research shows that the overwhelming majority of them have gone on to have careers in science, engineering or technology.”
As they undertake the task the Tor Bridge students will be mentored by Royal Navy engineers from DEVFLOT ESG including Lt Andy Howell RN who has worked closely with the EDT on previous EES projects.
Lt Howell says, “The opportunity to work with young people who are just beginning their engineering careers is hugely rewarding. As they learn new skills and meet new people, the students invariably grow in confidence and self-belief, culminating in a highly professional project report and presentation. As a former pupil of Lipson Community College, whilst I sat my A-Levels 20 years ago I can still empathise with the sixth-formers of Tor Bridge High as they juggle the demands of their studies with the level of commitment required during the EES project. DEVFLOT ESG has developed a strong relationship with Tor Bridge High and the EDT; one which I hope will endure for many years to come.
Teacher Graham Roser from Tor Bridge High says: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to work alongside practicing engineers on a real life task. Having the chance to work with an organisation such as the Royal Navy is a particular bonus as not only are the tasks interesting and challenging the support from colleagues such as Lt Howell is first class. The experience and skills gained by the students are many and include, team work, project management, designing, construction as well presentation skills. These are all key factors in their personal development as they continue their studies and prepare for their future careers.