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Gatwick launches schools programme to engage pupils with engineering

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Picture caption (left to right): Douglas McCartney, one of the winners of the ‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do’ competition with a prototype of his invention, a Flat Pack Wind Turbine, Maisie Crook, with the Bicycle Sucker prototype to suck water up from a well using the mechanics of the bike as power, Savannagh, who designed a self-adjusting sink to automatically rise or lower dependent on the users height, and Krystyna Marshall, with her prototype Spinal Muscular Atrophy jacket enabling greater mobility and physical support.

The programme will involve 15 primary schools and five local secondary schools near to Gatwick and – as part of their continued professional development – the teachers will be offered opportunities to learn new techniques that bring engineering-related projects to life in the classroom and in the school curriculum.

Engineers from Gatwick will also visit the schools and arrange airport tours to build interest and connections between local young people and engineers in the field. 

To deliver the programme, Gatwick is partnering with Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer – a not for profit educational organisation that aims to improve primary and secondary school pupils’ skills, awareness of engineering and potential career pathways through teacher training, whole class projects and provides a mechanism for close collaboration with pupils, educators, industry and parents.

Gatwick’s Head Engineer, Antony Yates, said:

Inspiring the next generation of engineers is vital for Gatwick Airport and thousands of other businesses up and down the country. 

“Our aim is to make engineering interesting to all, irrespective of gender or socio-economic background. Ultimately we want to make sure that we have a pipeline of young local engineering talent that can come and keep the airport, our partners and our supply chains running in the years ahead”

The UK Government says that over 200,000 new engineers are required per year to meet the demands of modern society.

To launch the programme – and inspire young people – Gatwick has joined with Facebook and Network Rail as national partners in the ‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do’ competition.  Primary Engineer runs the competition which encourages pupils to design engineering solutions to problems they have identified.

Over 49,000 children from across the UK entered the competition in 2018/19 – 50% of them female. A giant advertising hoarding called “The Wall of Fame” will showcase designs from around the UK which have been brought to life by engineers at supporting universities.

The exhibition will be on display in the South Terminal for three weeks from 13th August enabling Gatwick’s 125,000 plus daily visitors to vote for their favourite creation.

On display will be two winners from the South East including Maisie, from Rowan Preparatory School, Claygate, Surrey, who designed The Bicycle Sucker to suck water up from a well in water-deprived areas using the mechanics of the bike as power.  Isabelle from Wonersh and Shamley Green C of E Primary School in Guildford will also show her design for a The Super Hearing Set, a hearing device which allows the user to hear certain sources of sound.

Other prototypes that will be at the airport include a Flat pack wind Turbine’ to be used in refugee camps and disaster situations.  The Turbine was designed by Doulas from Edinburgh when he was 15 years old.  A prototype of a Jacket to support sufferers of Spinal Muscular Atrophy enabling greater mobility and physical support will also be on display. Krystyna from Burnely was 14 when she designed the jacket.

Dr. Susan Scurlock, MBE, founder of Primary Engineer said:

This exhibition at one of the most important travel hubs in the UK is testament to the commitment of our partner organisations who rely on a variety of engineering professionals to keep ahead of the game. Each year I am astounded by the designs by pupils, some as young as three as they realise that they can be part of a career that can literally shape the future of the world.”

Gatwick

The first easyJet holidays’ summer customers take off from Gatwick as business continues to return to airport

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It’s another welcome sign that the airport is starting to pick up since lockdown began to ease.

easyJet holidays has started taking its first ever summer customers on holiday since the launch of the business in November last year and since travel restrictions and quarantine advice changed.

Customers will be jetting off from London Gatwick airport to enjoy holidays to the likes of Crete, Rhodes, Malta and Turkey. When customers arrive on holiday there will be local gifts to enjoy courtesy of easyJet holidays and their destination partners to celebrate the first arrivals.

To help support and prepare customers for what to expect on holiday in these times, easyJet holidays has created a customer video and provided detailed information pages on its website – a Covid-19 response and a safety and wellbeing centre.

Matt Callaghan, Customer Director at easyJet holidays said:

“This is a really big moment for us and it is hugely exciting to be taking our first customers away this summer. We know how important holidays are to us all and we also recognise that for many a holiday this year feels even more significant. We’ve made a series of commitments and put in a number of steps to help ensure customers can have a safe and enjoyable holiday. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of our partners for the part they have played in getting ready for today.”

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations at Gatwick Airport, said:

“The launch of easyJet holidays from Gatwick Airport is a really significant step off the back of an incredibly challenging few months, not just for the aviation industry but for individuals and families across the country. For people to have the opportunity to get away to easyJet holidays’ fantastic range of destinations from Gatwick this summer is great news and something certain to give many families a huge boost.

“As an airport, we have implemented numerous new measures to ensure the safety of both passengers and staff travelling through Gatwick, which will help keep passenger safe and help to rebuild confidence in flying, whether to see family and friends, to enjoy a much-needed holiday or to travel for business.”

Today also marks the day that the new comic book inspired face masks for children will start to be available on easyJet flights. The masks, designed by Irish artist Will Sliney, best known for his work on Marvel comics Spider-Man and Star Wars, are just one element of the new measures the airline has introduced on flights to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew onboard.

easyJet holidays has great value deals on a range of holidays bookable all the way through to October next year. All holidays include 23kg of luggage per person, with transfers included on beach holidays.

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