Boris Johnson received “the best gift” he had ever been given at a recent visit he made to see the work taking place at the Gateway to
Skills Education Centre at CEME.
The Mayor of London visited CEME as part of National Apprentice Week, meeting apprentices, trainees and school children, who are learning hands-on about manufacturing, engineering and technology which aims to inspire them to work in these sectors.
Certainly the highlight of the day was when Philip Odukaya, a Year 5 pupil from Lansdowne Primary School, in Tilbury, presented the Mayor with a model of himself on a ‘Boris bike’. The model is a unique design that school children have been using at CEME to learn about the concept of gearing, mechanical mechanisms and engineering drive principles, in the state-of-the-art design studios. Boris was absolutely delighted with the gift describing it as “the best gift” he has ever been given and told the children that “it will take pride of place in my office”.
More than 2,000 primary and secondary school children from schools across London Thames Gateway have benefited from the impressive learning facilities at CEME. The latest youngsters to have the opportunity to experience CEME’s unique resource are pupils from schools within the Tilbury and Chadwell Excellence Cluster.
Since November 2010 over 150 Year 5s have visited the centre to take part in a Trebuchet building activity. Rosalind Scott, Director of the Cluster, said, “This is such a good programme and since many of the (children) are socially disadvantaged, it is a lovely opportunity for them to broaden their experience and decide to become engineers in the
The children also appreciate the chance to work outside of their normal school environment and enjoy being able to use hand tools to construct their models. However, the experience also provides pupils with the scope to develop valuable ‘soft skills’ such as team-working:
Herringham School student, Kayleigh Allen said she found the most interesting part of the day was “…working with different people, I have not worked with before…”
Following on from the success of the Trebuchet project, 60 Year 8 pupils from Hassenbrook, Gray’s Convent and The Gateway Academy schools will be participating in a two day activity to design and assemble an amplifier for an mp3 device.