Building robots is child’s play for local children in Fairford

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To encourage children to become the engineers of tomorrow, GFirst LEP has been working with a specialist engineering company, New Chapel Electronics based in Fairford, and STEMworks, to work with local primary schools to build and program robots as part of a county wide challenge to raise enthusiasm in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

The challenge was launched earlier this year across Gloucestershire to get 2,013 primary school children working with engineering and manufacturing businesses. In the Fairford area, the project has been met with great enthusiasm and on Tuesday 2nd July, the best team of three pupils from each participating school in the local area were invited to spend a half day with New Chapel Electronics.

Pictured left to right: Steve Thompson (NCE), Tia McBain, Dr Claire Mould (GFirst LEP), Archie Mehtar, Mark Cook (NCE), Harry Gasson, Allan Brown (Head Teacher of Southrop Primary School) and Ed White (STEMworks)

Aged between 10 and 11, three children from Southrop C of E primary school, enjoyed a tour around the premises where they were able to see at first hand exactly how an engineering and manufacturing company uses computers and robots as part of its specialised engineering processes, before receiving certificates in recognition of their achievement.

Allan Brown, Head Teacher, Southrop C of E Primary school said “This project has been amazing and to see the delight on the children’s faces when they had completed their first moving robot was an absolute pleasure. Without the assistance of New Chapel Electronics and GFirst LEP, the children would not have been able to have enjoyed this experience. I’m sure as a result of this exposure, many more young children will be keen to follow a career in, science, technology, engineering and maths.”

Mark Cook, Electrical Production and Training Manager, New Chapel Electronics said: “I am delighted that this campaign has already been such a resounding success. We wanted to encourage a future generation of engineers in the county and we were keen to establish better links between schools and businesses; which has been done with fantastic results. I really think that the participating schools and pupils have really benefitted from this project which we are keen to repeat.”

Dr Claire Mould, Board Member of GFirst LEP and Chief Executive OPENhouse said: “Across the county, the project has been a huge success with nearly 4,000 primary school children getting involved. It has been met with such enthusiasm by youngsters that we want to repeat the project again and get more schools and companies involved. As part of our growth plan, we need to ensure that we have the right skills in the county and we are keen to encourage young people to pursue a future career in engineering and manufacturing.”

GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, brings together businesses to make the county successful and create jobs. It is led by the business community in partnership with the education and public sectors to help Gloucestershire realise its economic potential.

STEMworks is a not for profit company which aim to enthuse school children of all ages to pursue Science Technology Engineering and Maths. Based in Gloucester it run practical hands on workshops in schools, so children can use their knowledge to solve practical problems and challenges.
For more information visit or .

Pictured left to right: Steve Thompson (NCE), Tia McBain, Dr Claire Mould (GFirst LEP), Archie Mehtar, Mark Cook (NCE), Harry Gasson, Allan Brown (Head Teacher of Southrop Primary School) and Ed White (STEMworks)

GFirst LEP, 6th Floor, Alexandra Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2LG

t: 01452 563300 w: e: [email protected]

Source: GFirst LEP

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