The next generation of train designers and engineers demonstrated their skills at an event held at Siemens Mobility’s new factory in Goole yesterday, Tuesday 25 April. Local schoolchildren came together to put their models to the test.
Siemens Mobility has collaborated with Primary Engineer since 2021. To inspire the next generation of engineers, Primary Engineer developed an engineering curriculum spanning from Early Years to Further Education to deliver a school programme across several Goole-area schools. Ambassadors from Siemens Mobility have been working with the schools since December, setting the pupils aged 5 to 11 a challenge to design and build a miniature train. This year’s activity culminated in an event to showcase the miniature trains the budding engineers had created from various materials, including wood, plastic and metal. Together with Siemens engineers, they tested their trains on a short stretch of track.
Finbarr Dowling, Head of UK Localisation, said: “This is the second year we have been involved with this exciting programme and the creativity demonstrated by all the children was truly inspiring. Being a STEM ambassador is really rewarding and this is an event my colleagues and I really look forward to each year. It’s great to think some of the children involved could be inspired to become our future engineers and could even be working from this factory in years to come.”
Nathalie Cachet-Gaujard, Head of Partnerships for North of England, said: “The Primary Engineer Rail Programme is designed to ignite interest and curiosity about engineering. Building on last year’s collaboration, we are delighted to work again this year with Siemens Mobility in Goole, their support and engagement with the schools is invaluable and crucial to raise awareness of the career opportunities amongst pupils in Goole. We are privileged to work with such a passionate and professional team and what a joy to hold the Celebration Event in their Assembly Hall at the Rail Village!”
Vicky Clarkson, Year Two Class teacher at Snaith Primary School in the East Riding of Yorkshire, said: “I was excited to see 60 children all come together in the hall for this fun and purposeful learning experience. By working together step by step, the children built incredible relationships and learned skills that would have been difficult to achieve in other ways. The relaxed atmosphere allowed us to fully enjoy the experience, and we even came together to see how far we could get the shoe back trains to move. It was such a positive and enjoyable experience that we have decided to roll it out to the rest of the school.”
Volunteers from Siemens Mobility engineers and STEM ambassadors have been working with teachers from 13 local primary schools since last December to prepare for the Primary Engineering project. In addition to conducting training sessions with the teachers, the engineers and ambassadors have visited classrooms to provide valuable insights and guidance on constructing and testing train models.
During these interactive sessions, the engineers shared their personal experiences on what it means to be an engineer. They also helped children to assemble the train frame and axis holes for the wheels and connect the battery pack, motor and gear-pulley system for the trains they had assembled. Engineers shared their examples of the rail projects they have worked on, ranging from designing the control system for the central section of the Elizabeth line to maintaining West Midlands Trains.
The Primary Engineer programme aims to ignite interest and curiosity in engineering among children from a young age. It developed a project-based learning approach that allows children and pupils to engage in practical maths and science, along with creative problem-solving and literacy. By bridging the gap between education and industry, the programme enables pupils to engage with STEM subjects through practical engineering-based projects. Working with Siemens Mobility, pupils can see how these skills can be brought to life across the rail industry and beyond.