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14 January 2010


Formula Sun launches at International Boat Show


January 12th 2010 saw us powering ahead with

the national launch of our exciting new project

“Formula Sun” at the London International

Boat Show.

Formula Sun is an exciting, flexible and very

affordable project suitable for pupils of all ages

from Primary to the full delivery of units within

the KS4 curriculum. Pupils design, build and

race boats powered by solar energy and along

the way they develop skills from project marketing

and communications to fluid dynamics

and electronic design.

The Boat Show was an inspiring venue! Best of all, we were able to secure free tickets for our

partner schools. We were supported by Alex from Techsoft who used his CAD/CAM equipment

to demonstrate solar boat hull design and build. The schools who braved the atrocious weather

conditions saw a presentation by Rob Austin on the main stage followed by an interview with

students and a teacher from last year’s South East Schools Marine Challenge winners - Leigh

Technology Academy. They demonstrated their enthusiasm, skill and expertise and teacher

Steve Leahey stressed the huge benefits in terms of curriculum delivery, improved results and

generally higher interest levels in Engineering, Maths and Technology. “It’s been a great opportunity

for us to put what we can do in the shop window and our results have improved in

many areas.” Year 11 student, Connor, explained what he had got from involvement, “ I get to

spend a lot more time in the workshops doing fibre glass moulds from scratch, vacuum forming

and it’s loads of fun”.

Andy Simms of Cooney Marine was also present to give his

support. When asked how important such schemes were for

the Marine Industry in the UK, he couldn’t have been clearer;

“Training and development is critical for this industry’s

future, not just the boats, but the complete

infra-structure including equipment for the

leisure boat industry, and clothing etc.” According

to Andy, it is one of the country’s fastest

growing industries, generating an income in excess

of £3 billion a year. Rob queried the importance

of taking on apprentices. “It’s critical,” said

Andy, “we recognised this 10 years ago and accelerated

our Apprenticeship Scheme. We have to

invest by training people ourselves if we want

them up to a certain standard.”

Visiting schools were then taken to the Deck Games area, where they

saw the various boats running in the test tank demonstrated by The Leigh Academy. From 12

noon onwards, schools and students were free to have a leisurely look round the rest of the

Boat Show. The stands were many and varied with a chance to get involved with some “handson”

activities too.

So, if you have not yet signed up for our latest challenge Formula Sun, please do so as soon

as possible by contacting us by phone, e-mail or fax. www.engineeringyourfuture.com