Clitheroe Royal Grammar team win aerospace challenge

high fliers: The winning CRGS team with aerospace managers at the 'Make It in Aerospace' event
high fliers: The winning CRGS team with aerospace managers at the 'Make It in Aerospace' event

A TEAM from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School showed design flair and business sense to win first prize in an aerospace challenge.

Twelve schools from across East Lancashire took part in the “Make It in Aerospace” contest, in which 13 and 14 year-old boys and girls were asked to design and create their own versions of the Airbus A380, Eurofighter or Boeing Apache helicopter, and set up their own mini-manufacturing businesses to finance and sell the iconic aerospace vehicles.

Teams were given a choice of parts and components with which to create their aero-vehicles and had to pool their skills to complete their final assembly on time and on budget – taking on job roles from managing director to operations managers – through to finance, sales and marketing managers.

They then developed a brand for their company before pitching their fully-costed ideas in a Dragons’ Den-style presentation to aerospace managers.

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School claimed the coveted winners’ trophy on the day, impressing the Dragons’ with their idea for an aerodynamic Eurofighter-style vehicle, designed to be sold to the military services.

Witton Park High School, Blackburn, were runners-up with another Eurofighter-based project.

The challenge was part of a series of themed challenges delivered by The Manufacturing Institute’s ‘Make It’ campaign, and sponsored by North West Aerospace Alliance’s “Take Off in Aerospace” campaign, which aim to promote manufacturing and aerospace as exciting and rewarding career options for young people.

Stephen Melia, Make It Programme co-ordinator, said: “The perception among young people that jobs in manufacturing are low-paid and unappealing is far from the reality. Careers in manufacturing can be both exciting challenging, offering above-average salaries with fantastic prospects.

“By setting students hands-on, real-life challenges, ‘Make It’ is designed to showcase the range of career options that are available within the sector and inspire the best and brightest future talent.”

Rachel Brickell, Aerospace Alliance skills manager, said: “It was a great event and we saw fantastic participation from all the students involved.”