Engineers of the future gathered at Nelson and Colne College to put their skills to the test in the college’s annual Engineering Because challenge.

Students from Colne Primet Academy, Bowland High School, St Christopher’s CE High School, Marsden Heights Community College and West Craven High School joined NCC students in the competition held to celebrate all things Engineering.

During the event, all students competed to design, manufacture and test prototype vehicles self-propelled using string and a weight, as the college’s Sports Hall was transformed into a workshop full of innovation and creativity.

Overall winners on the day were St Christopher’s, who also won the award for the Best Portfolio of designs, while NCC students scooped the prize for the Most Innovative Design and Marsden Heights students won the accolade of Best Group, demonstrating good communication and teamwork through the day.

Nelson and Colne College Apprentice, Danny Leeming, 19, was part of the team who won the Most Innovative Design for creating a vehicle with a cone shaped mechanism to release the string that increased the acceleration of the vehicle the further it travelled.

Danny, who is completing his Apprenticeship with Chubb Fire and Security Systems in Blackburn, said: “I really enjoyed the event because it tested skills such as problem solving – you always had to come up with solutions that could improve the way the vehicle moved.

“I’m in the first year of my four-year Apprenticeship with Chubb and I’m working towards becoming a Commissioning Engineer. I think Engineering is a good career for me as there is the challenge of each day being different and I like the practical hands-on side of the job.

“I would recommend the route to others and I’ve found the support of all of my teachers at Nelson and Colne College to be very good, whether it be personal or things around my practical work or my coursework.”

Nelson and Colne College Engineering Technician and part-time tutor Michael Molloy, who led on organising the event, said: “Our Engineering Because event was another huge success and it was brilliant to see more than 100 young people and budding engineers of the future so enthused by Engineering and the task they were set to complete.

“The project to design, manufacture and pilot a self-propelled vehicle was a challenging one and one developed to put the students through their paces and test a wide range of skills. The students really stepped up to that challenge by creating some extremely innovative vehicles that moved smoothly when released for the testing stage.

“Thank you to all of the schools who took part in this year’s Engineering Because and also to our judges, Rotarians Geoff Atkins and David Foulds, for giving up their time to support it again. They ensured an expert eye was cast over every design and that overall it was another fantastic celebration of Engineering.”

Estimates suggest that 203,000 people with Level 3+ Engineering skills will be needed every year to meet demand through to 2024 and sectors where Engineering skills are needed include aerospace, civil, chemical, electrical and electronic, manufacturing, marine and nuclear.

For more information about Nelson and Colne College visit or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.