London – Abacus Belsize Primary School pupil wins coveted regional Primary Engineer prize at Kingston University in London.

If you were an engineer what would you do? That was the question posed to children from across London in the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards 2018. Twenty-one bright sparks were selected as winners from over 1900 entries from across the London region. The competition, which was supported by Siemens and London’s Kingston University, featured winning entries including The Bicycle Sucker, The Beach Wheel Chair, Scanning Specs and Hand ‘O’ Matic. The winning design from London N1 was ‘Extendin Sink’ designed by Year 2 pupil Savannagh Dunne.

Dr Lucy Jones, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing at Kingston University, said: “The imagination and creativity shown by the school pupils has been an inspiration to all of our students and staff who have worked on making their designs a reality. At Kingston we are committed to nurturing potential wherever it exists and supporting these budding young engineers to grow in confidence has been a privilege.”

The Primary and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards give children the opportunity to design a solution to a problem with an explanation of why their idea should be made into a working prototype. Kingston University is the university partner for the London Leaders Awards and hosted the awards presentation on July 5th. A public exhibition of shortlisted and winning designs was also held on Friday 6th July at its Penrhyn Road campus. Later this year, a team of technicians and students from Kingston University are going to turn one of the winning designs into reality by building a working prototype of a pupil’s design.

Two winning design prototypes from 2017 were unveiled at the ceremony. The two inventions – the Electricity Trampoline, which converts bouncing into electricity to charge mobile phones, and the Truggy – a travel buggy which is a cross between a pushchair and a suitcase – were invented by a twelve-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl as part of the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards 2017 –an annual national competition which saw over 37,000 pupils take part this year.

Thousands of entries were shortlisted and two winners per year group across Primary and Secondary school ages were presented with their awards by Dr. Susan Scurlock, Founder and CEO of Primary Engineer Programmes, Professor Mark Miodownik, UCL Mechanical Engineering, University College London, Dr Lucy Jones, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing at Kingston University and Alex James, Schools, Education and Outreach at Siemens.

Prof. Miodownik said: “I have been truly inspired by the innovative approach taken by all the pupils who entered the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards and I’m so impressed with the winners for coming up with superbly creative solutions to some of society’s problems. The Leaders Awards show so clearly that it is the nurturing of creativity in the young that will give us the engineers of the future.”

The competition is particularly relevant as 2018 is the Government’s ‘Year of Engineering’ with entries highlighting the enthusiasm amongst local schools and engineers for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opportunities.

Alex James, Schools, Education and Outreach at Siemens said: “Siemens is delighted to support the Primary Engineer Leaders Awards, a growing programme which encourages children to tap into their inner-engineer, we are excited to be part of an inclusive initiative that encourages creativity, innovation and confidence”.

The competition, created and managed by Primary Engineer Programmes, is designed to provide an opportunity for children and pupils to interview engineers about their career paths and motivation.

Dr. Susan Scurlock, CEO and Founder of Primary Engineer said: “I am so proud of everyone who entered the competition and, of course, the engineers who supported it by being interviewed by the pupils. The creativity shown by the entrants has been remarkable and I hope that the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards will encourage young people to embrace engineering and seriously consider it as a career choice when the time arrives”.

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