- More than 1,200 local Key Stage 1 and 2 children set to benefit from Gatwick Airport-funded programme
- 15 primary schools from across Sussex, Surrey and Croydon selected to take part, with 30 teachers trained to bring engineering to life in classroom
- Celebration event to take place at Millais School in Horsham on 2 June
More than 1,200 primary school children from 15 schools across Sussex, Surrey and Croydon are set to take part in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) programme, funded by Gatwick Airport.
The Primary Engineer project is aimed at inspiring Key Stage 1 and 2 children by giving their teachers enhanced skills to deliver STEM subjects in an engaging way and challenging the pupils to build a vehicle in competition with the other schools.
Two teachers from each of the 15 primary schools selected to take part in the programme attended a training workshop at Gatwick in January, where a number of airport’s engineers and apprentices were on hand to share advice.
The teachers were given a full kit to take back to their schools to build the vehicles, before the engineers and apprentices from Gatwick go to work with the children involved in the programme and answer questions.
A celebration event will be held at Horsham’s Millais Secondary School on 2 June where the primary school children will present their projects and be awarded certificates, while Gatwick’s engineers will act as judges for the competition. By hosting the event at the girls’ school, Gatwick hopes to inspire more females to consider careers in engineering or science-related disciplines.
Later in the year, five local secondary schools will be chosen to take part in a Gatwick-funded Secondary Engineer programme, with the project having been developed with the support of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) and WEBTEC.
Four teachers from each school will benefit from training at Millais School on 2 June, before taking the project back to their students.
Paula Aldridge, Community Engagement Manager, Gatwick Airport, said:
“We place huge importance on our community work at Gatwick Airport, so to be able to fund and be involved in the Primary Engineer programme is fantastic.
“Our engineers and apprentices loved being part of it and working with the children, giving them practical, hands-on experience to hopefully spark a passion.
“STEM subjects are so vital to schools and to businesses across the region including Gatwick and we hope we can help to inspire the engineers of the future through this initiative.”
Fionnuala Quinlan, teacher, Our Lady Queen of Heaven School, said:
“I really enjoyed the course and now feel much more confident delivering this project in the classroom. Our engineer was great and really helpful – we have already booked in time for him to come him and support in school.”
Primary Engineer programme
A full list of the primary schools selected to take part in the Primary Engineer Programme:
- Northgate Primary School, Crawley
- Milton Mount Primary School, Crawley
- Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary School, Crawley
- Maidenbower Junior School, Crawley
- Maidenbower Infant School, Crawley
- The Gatwick School, Crawley
- Crawley Down Primary School, Crawley Down
- North Heath Primary School, Horsham
- Sheddingdean Community Primary School, Burgess Hill
- London Meed Primary School, Burgess Hill
- Onslow Infant School, Guildford
- Godalming Junior School, Godalming
- Polesden Lacey Infant School, Great Bookham
- Forestdale Primary School, Croydon
- The Woodside Academy, Croydon
About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport. It serves more than 230 destinations in 74 countries for 46 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. Gatwick is also a major economic driver and generates around 85,000 jobs nationally, with 24,000 of these located on the airport.
In 2019, a new long-term partnership was formed with VINCI Airports who purchased a 50.01% stake in the airport. This partnership saw Gatwick Airport integrate into the network of VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator in the world, which manages the development and operation of 45 airports located in Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Served by more than 250 airlines, VINCI Airports' network handled 255 million passengers in 2019. Through its expertise as a comprehensive integrator, VINCI Airports develops, finances, builds and operates airports, leveraging its investment capability and know-how to optimise the management and performance of airports and carry out extensions and upgrades. In 2019, its annual revenue for managed activities amounted to €4.9 billion, for a consolidated revenue of €2.6 billion.
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which manages the remaining 49.99% interest in Gatwick, is an independent infrastructure investor that makes equity investments in high quality infrastructure assets in the energy, transport and water/waste sectors. GIP has US$68 billion of Assets under Management. Its 41 portfolio companies operate in over 51 countries with more than 67,000 employees and generate annual revenues of circa US$51 billion.