Young aspiring engineers aged between four to 14 gathered at a ceremony in Bristol recently to find out who would be crowned the overall winner of the South West Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards.
Supported for the second time by DE&S, the annual competition challenges children to answer the question: ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ by identifying a problem in society that engineering could solve, devising a solution. The awards aim to inspire young minds and promote engineering as a career of choice.
The overall winning entry, a unanimous decision among the judges, was by Ella Cornish a Year 8 student from Bodmin College who designed an Air and Water Rescue Drone, a lifesaving device that can get emergency aid, such as food, water and medicines to very hard to reach disaster zones.
Air Marshal Julian Young, Chief of Materiel Air at DE&S and the Defence Engineering Champion, who presented the award to Ella, said: “These awards have once again proved to be a great way to inspire young minds and help them gain a greater understanding of what it means to be an engineer. I am proud that DE&S has supported STEM outreach and has played its part in bringing the awards to the South West.
“Ella is a shining example of the influence these awards have. Her winning design has the potential to have far-reaching impact in many humanitarian situations. It is also an innovation that chimed with DE&S as unmanned aid such as this is a future technology we are exploring.”
More than 4,300 children entered this year, with each entry graded by engineers from DE&S and the wider Bristol engineering community. These engineers spent time going into schools to speak to students to share their personal stories and experiences of engineering, and to help students with their designs.
Other shortlisted designs ranged from a water powered car that can help alleviate harmful emissions to energy efficient floating farms that can move around the world to the best location in the world for maximum growth.
The event was followed by a day of public exhibition at UWE where all shortlisted designs, along with the winners in each age group in the South West region were on display.