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Ashington pupils take renewables work experience test

Published 24 March 2017

Pupils from Northumberland Church of England Academy (NCEA) in Ashington have completed an engineering project with Blyth-based Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult as part of a week-long work experience programme.

The three sixth form students, Josh McKay, Nathan Lee and Reece Crate designed a new enclosure for a drive train test rig at ORE Catapult, the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for wind, wave and tidal energy.

Jonathan Hughes, a research engineer at ORE Catapult who helped the students during their placement, said: “The project required the students to consider a wide range of factors, including materials, cost, design, dimensions and how the enclosure might perform under live test conditions.

Nathan, Reece and Josh with Jonathan

“It was all about problem-solving, something engineers face on a daily basis. I was really impressed with how the students developed their ideas so quickly during the week.

Josh said: “The week has opened my eyes to how challenging an engineering role can be. I realise how exciting a project is as you begin to find solutions.”

Nathan added: “I feel it really developed my problem-solving skills, which is what engineering is all about.”

The work experience week is part of a wider approach from ORE Catapult to support and encourage young people to consider a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) through local partnerships, such as the one with NCEA.

Mr Mark Fox, NCEA’s Careers and Employability Manager, said: “The Academy’s relationship with ORE Catapult has gone from strength to strength. Work experience enables students to make clear links between what they are studying now and how they can use it in their future career.”