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North East Students engineer their own future rollercoaster ride

Youngsters at a North East school looped-the-loop without even leaving the comfort of their classroom in an engineering masterclass on 5 July 2013.

The 120 Year 8 pupils at Rye Hills School in Redcar were each given a turn on a rollercoaster simulator before being asked to create their own rollercoaster design in an event run by Redcar-based manufacturing company ElringKlinger (GB) and education charity Young Enterprise.

Eleven members of staff from ElringKlinger (GB), one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of car parts, spent a day at the school as part of the firm’s mission to engage students in engineering from a young age, in a bid to bridge the engineering sector’s skills gap.

The session saw managing director Ian Malcolm of ElringKlinger (GB), which supplies automotive components to the likes of BMW, Ford, Jaguar Landrover and Bentley, give an introduction to engineering to kick off the day. The students were then split into groups where they took part in some team building activities.

They were then asked to allocate roles of an engineering company within their groups for the main activity. After experiencing the rollercoaster simulator, the young people had to design to a client’s specification drawn up by Young Enterprise, purchase materials and build their own rollercoaster – working with ElringKlinger (GB) employees as mentors.

The day culminated in the students presenting their plans, including a marketing strategy, and their rollercoaster models to a panel of judges who awarded certificates to the top three teams and a prize to the overall winning team after much deliberation.

Rye Hills winning student, Daniel Conaghan said: “I was thrilled that our team scooped first place with our presentation. I acted as managing director of our company, Team Hawkeye, and believe that the reason we were successful was due to a strong team spirit and quick decision-making.


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