Valley's budding engineers gain a boatload of experience at annual college event

Youngsters from Ribblesdale High show off their artistic skills
Youngsters from Ribblesdale High show off their artistic skills

Engineers of the future from Bowland and Ribblesdale High schools enjoyed a hands-on learning day at Nelson and Colne College’s Engineering Because event.


They were among 200 pupils from 13 different secondary schools in the Ribble Valley, Pendle, Burnley, Hyndburn, Blackburn with Darwen and North Yorkshire who were split into 46 groups to compete in the task to construct a crane, all within a financial budget, that could smoothly lift an item of cargo onto a ship.

Pupils from Bowland High with their creations

Pupils from Bowland High with their creations

Engineering Because aims to introduce young people to the world of opportunities that exist within the engineering sector through the form of a challenge, and this year the event was bigger and better than ever.

Winners of the advanced category (Year 10) were students from St Christopher’s C of E High School, in Accrington, while the top performing team in the Intermediate category (Year 9) were from Bowland High School, and first place in the foundation category (Year 8) went to St Wilfrid’s C of E Academy in Blackburn.

Oliver Whiteoak (13), from Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe, said: “I’ve really enjoyed the task. I like design technology at school and I’m quite competitive – I think we worked well together in our team. I would really like to come back and have a look at the engineering facilities at the college.”

The day also marked the college’s Industry Career Day for the engineering department. The college's engineering technician and part-time tutor, Michael Molloy, said: “Engineering Because is our department’s showpiece event Each year it seems to grow in size, quality and reputation, and 2019 has proved that to be the case again. We had 185 external secondary school students, plus several groups of Nelson and Colne College students involved in completing a tough challenge which tested a multitude of skills, and the standard of mechanism produced and innovation displayed was excellent. It was also fantastic to see our sports hall-turned-workshop buzzing with enthusiasm for Engineering, and I’m sure we saw some future engineers here today. Thank you to all of the schools who took part in Engineering Because for supporting it to be a success, and to our Rotarian judges whose expert contribution each year is greatly valued by the College. Thank you also to the employers for coming into College for the Industry Career Day element to the event and inspiring our current Engineering students with careers in the sector.”