Students’ award-winning engineering ideas impress at Edge Hill University

Primary and secondary school children were welcomed to Edge Hill University‘s campus to celebrate their inventive engineering ideas.

Pupils from across Merseyside and Cheshire participated in the Leaders Award Competition, a UK-wide annual competition currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, which asks pupils from the ages of 3 – 19 “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”

Across the UK, there have been, and will be more, regional exhibitions and awards ceremonies to showcase and celebrate the innovative ideas go school pupils between the ages of 3 and 19. 

At the awards there is also a public exhibition of work from across the region which is open to the general public. Upcoming exhibitions in the North West include Manchester Metropolitan University and UCLAN in Lancashire.

Merseyside and Cheshire pupils joined the tens of thousands of pupils from across the UK who submitted their designs to be graded by engineers, with every child receiving a certificate and a grade.

Experts from Edge Hill’s engineering department helped to judge the region’s entries, and the university’s engineering students will even build a prototype selected from the winning designs to show that school pupils’ ideas can inspire engineers to change the world.

Associate head of engineering, Professor Ray Sheriff, said: “We are delighted to play a part in inspiring the next generation of young engineering minds through this exciting competition. 

“With technology advancing at a rapid pace, these young people could end up working on engineering projects and inventions that we can only dream of. Fortunately, the winning designs show that British engineering has a very bright future.”

The judges’ special award went to Jack K from St Alban’s Catholic Primary School, who designed The Melter Pad, while designs from Friend Maker, Anti-Waste Sink, and Solar Powered Phone were all on display at a special exhibition.

Edge Hill University also unveiled the prototype of the “Anti-Waste Fridge,” designed by last year’s winner Leonardo from Liverpool College. It was brought to life by BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineeringstudents Spencer Asamoah and Samuel Molyneux.

The fridge uses image recognition technology to log the food put inside it, tracks use-by dates, and provides reminders to help reduce food waste. Unlike most fridges, it features a host of innovations such as a camera and scanner, power bank, liquid crystal display, and even a mobile app.

Professor Sheriff added: “This was a great design and posed a number of interesting technical challenges for our engineering students, including programming, manipulation of data, and working with image recognition technology. 

“It was great to be able to bring Leonardo back to campus to see the prototype and how it all works in real life. Hopefully, we’ve inspired him to carry on designing and consider a career in engineering.”

Primary Engineer, who runs the competition, is an educational not-for-profit organisation that brings engineering into the classroom through a series of inclusive and fun programmes and competitions, all designed to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Nathalie Cachet-Gaujard from Primary Engineer said: “We are delighted to be working with Edge Hill University and to see our partnership grow year on year. Coinciding with the 10th Anniversary of the competition, we were thrilled to unveil the first prototype created by students from the engineering department at Edge Hill! 

“Engineers inspire young people about the breadth and diversity of engineering throughout the year, young people then truly inspire and challenge engineers who bring their solution to life, a story of real innovation!”.

The Leaders Award Competition is free to enter and is open to all pupils aged 3 – 19. Teachers can register online to access the teaching resources and lesson plans to support the competition, as well as links to engineers from leading companies.

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