Luton’s Leonardo inspires children with rocking robotic challenge for National Apprenticeship Week

A Luton engineer gave Year 9 students a rocking robot challenge to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.

Monday, 11th March 2019, 11:16 am
Updated Monday, 11th March 2019, 12:45 pm

Jack Hempsall, a technical apprentice at Capability Green aerospace company, Leonardo, visited a group of excited school pupils to promote STEM subjects.

The pupils at Parmiter’s School, Herts, built a robot which could clean their teacher’s white board - solving an everyday problem - with Jack helping to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Jack said: “It has been fantastic to see the speed with which the children have picked up new skills in robot building and they are constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of their design. I’m excited to see where they might take their robotic skills in the future.”

A Year 9 student who was a member of the Parmiter’s robot building team, said: “This project has taught me

a lot about research and the different applications of robotics, it’s something that I’m even more interested in now I’ve been part of the project.”

The activity was rolled out by Jack and Leonardo Industrial Engineering Graduate, Matt Price, in close collaboration with STEM education organisation EDT, who are keen to advance young people’s understanding of robotics through their Go4SET programme, since it forms the bedrock of industry in the UK in the future.

At the end of the project, the students will participate in a special celebration day at Cambridge University, where they will host a stand to display their model and deliver a presentation on their robot.

Stephanie Bright, programme delivery manager for EDT, said: “We’re delighted at the progress Jack has made with the pupils at Parmiter’s School. Robotics and autonomous systems are starting to become ever more present in our daily lives, from self-driving cars to in-home care systems. The government has identified that robotics and autonomous systems are one of the ‘Eight Great Technologies’ where Britain is or can be a global leader. It is important that we give young people early experiences in this field, to build their confidence and increase the likelihood that they might consider a STEM career.”