Media release - 11/3/2009

Teen engineers team up with MPs to power wind of change

Young engineers from around the country descended on the Houses of Parliament yesterday to design, build and showcase winning examples of renewable energy wind turbines as part of National Science and Engineering Week.

The Renewable Energy Challenge, which was organised by The Smallpeice Trust and the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB), was attended by thirteen and fourteen year olds from six schools across the country.

Aimed at inspiring budding young engineers to think about sustainable engineering solutions, the challenge was designed to draw out attendees’ problem-solving, creativity, design and teamwork skills.

Prompted by Engineering UK 2008’s recent findings that many potential engineers claim to be inspired by ‘a green agenda’, the ETB and The Smallpeice Trust set about challenging students from Cardinal Newman RC School, Handsworth Grammar School, Mosslands School, North Leamington Community School and Arts College, and Turves Green Girls School and Community College to design, build and market a mini wind turbine for the creation of sustainable energy.

Students presented their completed wind turbines to judges from the ETB and The Smallpeice Trust, as well as to Adam Afriyie MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and other assembled guests in the Houses of Parliament. The students then powered up and tested their completed turbines in the Terrace Pavilion.

The judges assessed the designs according to their potential power generation, aerodynamics, technical accuracy, unique selling points, and marketing methods.
Mosslands School from the Wirral was awarded the overall prize for their spectacular design and presentation, and received a Renewable Energy Challenge Trophy and £500 for their school.

Adam Afriyie MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said: “I am delighted to be part of this important event, which demonstrates to children and young people the exciting and creative challenges and opportunities involved in engineering today. It is important that during the current climate we do not let go of the green agenda. We need to be constantly innovating and developing our technology to provide the renewable energy that the UK needs for the future.
The skills, creativity and enthusiasm of young engineers will be essential in meeting this need and would encourage talented youngsters to consider a career in this vitally important profession.”

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of the ETB, said: ‘ETB research shows that many young people are motivated to go into engineering to help solve the challenging issues of our time such as climate change and global warming. The Renewable Energy Challenge is designed to build on this, encouraging students to have the creativity and confidence to create sustainable solutions and become the engineers of tomorrow.’
Dr Andrew Cave, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust, said: ‘It is really encouraging to see talented young students build high-quality wind turbines and present their work to a distinguished group of guests in an historical setting. It gives a strong sense of confidence regarding young engineers for the future.’

Notes for Editors:
The Smallpeice Trust
The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby Smallpeice, a pioneering engineer and inventor of the Smallpeice Lathe. Following the stock market flotation of his company Martonair, Dr Smallpeice invested his energy and part of his personal fortune to set up the Trust to ensure that British industry could continuously benefit from his proven design and engineering philosophies: “Simplicity in design, economy in production.”

The Trust is now governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies.

Over the last year, The Smallpeice Trust has reached out to nearly 14,000 young peoplethrough 32 different subsidised 4-day residential courses and over 2001-day inschool curriculum enrichment activities, offering training in all aspects of Engineering.

A strong interface is maintained with industry, education and professional bodies that help to support, promote and develop the courses. Through these relationships the Trust is also able to provide a number of tailored or specialised courses. Smallpeice courses are a major element of the Royal Academy of

Engineering Best Programme
National Science and Engineering Week (6-15 March 2009)
National Science and Engineering Week is an annual 10-day, UK-wide celebration of science and engineering, coordinated by the British Science Association in partnership with the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

Events are organised throughout the UK by a large and varied range of organisations and individuals, including hospitals, schools, universities, industry and museums.

Aimed at everyone from children and adults, to decision-makers and investors, the Week draws many scientists and engineers into the public domain to discuss their work with interested audiences.

For more information about National Science and Engineering Week visit

For further information please contact:
Laura Marsh, PR and Communications Manager EngineeringUK
Tel: 020 3206 0444 or (m) 07887 943 017