Competitive spirit was in full swing at Nelson and Colne College as secondary school students from across Lancashire put their problem solving skills to the test.

 The Engineering Because contest was held at NCC in a bid to engage Year 8 and 9 students with STEM related subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

The event gave students the opportunity to learn more about future career choices and saw them taking part in a fun activity to design a catapult. Teams competed against each other in an attempt to throw an egg the furthest distance using their device – with extra marks given to teams whose egg did not break.

The four schools that took part in Engineering Because were Colne Park High School, Colne Primet Academy, Pendle Vale College, and Preston Muslim Girls High School.

Year 9 Primet student Qasim Mahmood, 14, said: “I found the day really interesting and useful for me, and it has made me realise that I now want to go into Engineering and study at Nelson and Colne College.”

And Alex Baker, 14, from Colne Park High School, added: “The machines at Nelson and Colne College are really good – I have enjoyed the day.”

Following the event, winners were announced as a Preston Muslim Girls High School team (Year 8) and a Colne Primet Academy team (Year 9).

Students were also given chance to talk about “Women In Engineering” – the largest international professional organisation dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists and inspiring girls around the world to follow their academic interests to a career in Engineering. Government vision is that 30% of the UK STEM workforce will be female by 2020.

Engineering tutor Mark Rosenthal said: “Excellent feedback was received from all the teachers who attended this event – they told us that students thoroughly enjoyed the day and that some of those with no prior knowledge of Engineering would now consider it as an option.

“The teachers were given a tour of the College’s new £2 million skills facility and were impressed with the amount of equipment we have and the wide range of programmes on offer.”

Nelson and Colne College’s £2million Engineering skills facility was officially unveiled this year, boasting new department features including a subsonic wind tunnel, workshops equipped with the latest technology and software, an innovation laboratory and a 3D printing and manufacturing area. The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has invested £1.4m into the project.

For more information on STEM subjects at Nelson and Colne College contact 01282 440272.