Celebrating the Leaders Award

If you were an engineer, what would you do?

That was the question posed to children from across the East of England who entered the Primary and Secondary Engineer Leaders Award 2018. The competitions, which were supported by engineers from MBDA and were open to both Primary and Secondary level schoolchildren from across the region, culminated in an awards ceremony at the University of Hertfordshire on Monday 4 June.

Amongst the inspiring entries were 'The Omnispex', 'Temperature Changing Blanket' and 'The Parrot Guard 2000'. Nathan Trayner, a Year 1 pupil from Oak View Primary School in Hatfield was eventually awarded the Overall Winner prize for his 'Amazing Buggy' submission - see right.  (Yes, a six-year-old!) This buggy keeps Ben's brother warm and has door openers on the front to assist Ben's mum manoeuvring the buggy through doors.

The Leaders award has been created to inspire students and give them the opportunity to discover more about available careers in engineering. The competition asked the question: "If you were an engineer, what would you do?" Young people were asked to come up with a solution to a problem, interviewing as many engineers as possible about what it means to be an engineer in order to help them find their chosen problem, invent a solution and explain it. The winning participant was inspired to enter the competition after speaking to MBDA employee about what it's really like to work as an engineer.

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By linking the professionals of today with the professionals of the future, the Leaders Awards creates a unique opportunity to inspire both with so many great inventions being proposed by the students.

“MBDA recognises the fantastic opportunity the Primary & Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards offers in addressing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) skills shortages across the UK and regionally and supporting the engineers, problem solvers and innovators of the future. The awards allow us to reach out to 2300 primary schools and 575 secondary schools and therefore giving MBDA and the engineering industry in general the ability to promote engineering as an exciting and rewarding career choice to thousands of “budding” engineers and inventors.

With a number of MBDA Engineers having been fortunate to have been interviewed by local pupils and being part of the  judging panels we have literally been blown away by the standard of entries this year and it has only re-enforced the future for engineering in the UK remains incredibly bright and buoyant.” – Andy Baker, HR Lead, Early Careers Recruitment and Leaders Award Judge

Andy Baker, HR Advisor for Early Careers at MBDA, said: ""It's been a pleasure to be so heavily involved with the competition and to get a chance to take part as a judge. We've been hugely impressed by the number and quality of the entries as well as the levels of creativity and innovation. The Primary and Secondary Engineer programmes have continued to grow and we're looking forward to supporting them once again in 2019."

The overall winner of the East England Leaders Award 2018 is the 'Amazing Buggy' designed by Ben Walker, Year 1 pupil at Eaton Bray Academy:

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The inventions shortlisted were:

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