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Tough Questions from Next Generation of Engineers

Eighteen boys and girls from across the country have interviewed Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation and Sir Anthony Cleaver, Chairman of the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) about science and technology. The pupils were given the opportunity to grill Lord Drayson and Sir Anthony as part of The Primary, Secondary and Advanced Leaders Award for STEM.

The award challenges pupils to interview scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians including Lord Drayson, Sir Anthony Cleaver and Daniel Jubb of Falcon Rockets; rocket scientist for Britain’s 1,000 mph world land speed record car BLOODHOUND SSC. The pupils were then tasked with writing up their stories in true journalistic style for the website, which launches in July.

The 10-14 year olds from Darwen Vale High School Engineering College, and Witton Park High School Business, Enterprise and Science College in Blackburn, Ribby with Wrea Primary School near Preston and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys in Kent, entered the ‘Primary, Secondary and Advanced Leaders Award for STEM’ created by Primary Engineer to encourage young science, technology, engineering and mathematical ambassadors in schools and to engage with professionals to understand their careers.

The aim of the challenge was to help pupils gather an understanding of what inspired and drove someone through an exceptionally diverse and high powered career.

Interviewing Sir Anthony Cleaver at the ETB, the pupils asked: ‘What is the most important area of engineering?’; ‘How can engineering help save the world?’; ‘What is your favourite car?’ And ‘Who most inspires you?’

Interviewing Lord Drayson the pupils asked: ‘What was your role at the Ministry of Defence?’; ‘What was your most inspirational moment?’, and ‘How did you nearly break a production line in a car factory?’

Daniel Jubb’s interview with Marcus Tomlinson, a seven year old rocket enthusiast from North Yorkshire was professionally recorded for viewing on the website in July.

All eighteen students and their peers will be invited to attend The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, at Manchester Central in March 2010.

Lord Drayson said: “The pupils who interviewed me were really clued up about science and engineering and had a natural passion and talent for it.

“I look forward to working more closely with organisations like Primary Engineer, the ETB, and all those that offer children and young adults the chance to see how exciting science and engineering is in practice.”

Sir Anthony Cleaver said: “The young people involved in this project are not only excellent engineers, but fantastic journalists as well. I was particularly impressed with the wide range of questions they asked, as well as their overall engagement and enthusiasm for science and engineering. I can’t wait to read their articles. If these are the scientists and engineers of tomorrow, then the future is in safe hands.”

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