Blaenau Gwent’s Aspire Shared Apprenticeship Programme has recently partnered up with the Eden Centre to facilitate a number of Lego Education Engineering Challenges to secondary schools in Blaenau Gwent.
The pupils were tasked to build and program a Lego robot and set a challenge that tested their problem solving skills and encouraged innovation. It required excellent communication and team working as well as looking at different elements of engineering and technology. The activity highlighted the skills required for STEM (Science, Technology, English, Maths) apprenticeships.
The schools involved in this project were Ebbw Fawr Learning Community, Abertillery, Brynmawr and Tredegar Comprehensive.
All four secondary schools held sessions within their respective schools last week. 30 pupils from each year 8 school were picked to undertake the initial activity. A team was then selected to represent their school at the final presentation which took place yesterday (Tuesday 4th April) at The Eden Education Centre.
The initiative has been supported by the Local Authorities Shared Apprenticeship Programme. Aspire apprentices, who are currently undertaking their training with host employers mentored and supported the pupils during the activity, which included:
• Matthew Malloy – Sears Seating – Tredegar Comprehensive
• Josh Poultney – JC Moulding – Brynmawr Comprehensive
• Jack Williams – Sogefi Filtration – Ebbw Fawr Learning Community
• Richard Miles – Base Handling – Abertillery Comprehensive
Corporate Director for Environment and Regeneration; Richard Crook, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Said:
“This has been a fantastic partnership opportunity to deliver a curriculum based activity with the benefit and support of local businesses in a school environment. The pupils have been involved in an experience using Lego as a link to learn more about the world of engineering, science and Technology. They have benefited from the experience and support of the current apprentices from Aspire, who have chosen their career paths through a work base learning approach. A similar activity will be taking place in primary schools in the near future with the aim of building knowledge and skills around the manufacturing, engineering and technology sector.”
Tredegar Comprehensive – Mr Edwards – Winning School:
“An outstanding opportunity for the pupils to problem solve basic issues using team work while developing important programming skills required for industry. The pupils have really enjoyed the experience, while I have been a bag of nerves.”
Daryl Davies – Manager Sears Seating & Aspire Apprentice Matthew Malloy, ex pupil of Tredegar supported the winning team:
“Really good to see young people engaged in this activity, manufacturing , computer programming and working out a budget. I thought the results were very impressive, presentations were of a high standard, these young people showed real confidence, I hope that this encourages them to have careers in engineering”