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Students showcased their innovative design for a device to move tools around a warship to an audience of more than 100 safety managers.

Students from the College have been working with STEM ambassadors from Babcock International - the UK's leading engineering support services company - since November 2014 to promote learning and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The Stoke Damerel team, made up of Year 13 students Andre, Shane, Zack and Charlotte, have been working on creating their load transfer device  - a button-operated design made from lightweight aluminium - since September 2015.

They were invited to make their presentation at Devonport Royal Dockyard on Friday 16 December 2016 and many of the audience were wearing Christmas jumpers or ties to put the students at ease.

“That was such a lovely touch,” said the College’s Stem co-ordinator Mr Barenskie.


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“Lots of them also took the time to speak to the students beforehand and express how brave they were - it’s just one of the many reasons we are so grateful to have this partnership with Babcock.”

The students gave a 15-minute presentation outlining the way they had created their project, detailing how it follows industry standards and how it solves a real-world issue.

“The students demonstrated their device to enormous cheers from the crowd, they were thrilled to be greeted by such a warm reception and to receive such excellent feedback,” said Mr Barenskie.

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Devonport Operations Director at Babcock, Chris Tomkins, said: “The students have come up with a brilliant solution.

“ They are a real inspiration to us all and should be very proud of what they have achieved.”

Operational Safety Improvement Manager, Rhys Blackaller, added: “The students demonstrated how industry and education can work together successfully.

“The project they presented to Babcock managers demonstrated innovation and good engineering practice to create a safe method of working during ship and submarine refits.”

Student Andre, 17, said it was “very satisfying” to get such a positive reaction to their invention.

“We were a bit nervous to begin with but soon found our confidence - it was a brilliant experience,” said Andre, who plans to pursue an career in Engineering once he completes his A Levels.

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Following the presentation, students were given a tour of the dockyard before being treated to lunch at the Dome Restaurant on the Hoe where they were presented with shopping vouchers in recognition of their hard work.

“It is one of the highlights of teaching, to see our students present a fully-functioning prototype after years of hard work,” said Mr Barenskie, who added that the success of the Babcock programme has led to a quadrupling of the number of girls in the College taking part in STEM activities.

“We all had such a great day and it really shows our students that if you are innovative, industry will listen.”


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Stoke Damerel News Archive 2016-17


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