From education to employment

Students tasked with nuclear decommissioning challenge as part of educational programme

A SELECT group of school pupils solved real-world nuclear decommissioning problems as part of an inspirational and educational programme ran by a local engineering company.

Eight Year 12 pupils from across West Cumbria joined React Engineering for an entire week as part of the Into Engineering Week which is organised to inspire young people to think about careers in the sector.

The students were put through their paces as they were split into groups and participated in decommissioning problem solving challenges, producing a report and delivering a presentation on the proposed solution at the end of the week.

To assist the teams along the way, a variety of workshops and presentations covering vital aspects of engineering, ranging from structural analysis and design right through to risk management and costing, were delivered by members of the React team.

Kirby Johnston, a consultant engineer at React, said:

“The Into Engineering Week really gives young people an insight into the world of a professional engineer, and we are passionate about promoting career opportunities which exist within the industry.

“The programme provides experiences and activities that showcase how interesting and challenging the world of engineering can be, and it was great to see the pupils fully engage in the projects and produce some excellent work.

“There are definitely some very promising engineers across the area and we are proud to have given them the opportunity to develop their skills and interests further.”

As a culmination of the programme, the students were given an inspirational talk by pioneering Cumbrian mountaineer John Porter, who shared his experiences of world-first alpine adventures in expeditions which claimed the lives of many of his fellow climbers during the 1970s and 1980s.

John delved into his experiences of mountaineering and how different people perceive risks in different situations, which applies to engineering which is known for taking risks and pushing the boundaries to find solutions which had never existed previously.

Harley Ward, a pupil at Cockermouth School, said:

“I was expecting to be bombarded and bored with lots of information, however all the information given was interesting, fun and well presented.”

Harley Irving, of West Coast Sixth Form, added:

“This week has changed my perception as I did not realise the amount of different engineering roles there was.”

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