The Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) is designed to encourage sixth form students to study engineering courses in further or higher education. The scheme operates through local companies setting research and development briefs related to real industrial problems for teams of several year 12 students. The students set about solving these problems, over a period of about six months (October – April), in co-operation with engineers and scientists from the link companies. By giving students a positive experience of working with professional engineers and scientists in an industrial setting, the programme shows them that STEM areas are diverse and stimulating, and can provide an intellectually challenging career.
Starting in October, the team is allocated a coordinating engineer/scientist by the school’s link company. The company assigned to the team will have defined a problem in the company’s operation that is suitable for solving by the team over a period of six months, the solution to which would be of benefit to the company. During the development period, students visit the company’s site and the engineer visits the school as necessary.
Students, company engineers and link teachers also work together at a University or College during a three day session in December to develop project ideas towards prototype design. There are opportunities to manufacture these designs during the workshop sessions. A written report is prepared and submitted approximately one month before the presentation day. Teams also make a verbal presentation to a panel of engineers at the Awards and Presentation day in March or April.
Further information can be obtained by downloading the EESW Handbook
Benefits to the Student
- Enhancing knowledge, understanding and capability in STEM areas
- Application, development and accreditation of all Essential and Key Skills
- CREST Award at Gold Level or Silver level
- Interview, teamwork and project management experiences
- Developing report writing and presentation techniques
- Exposure to a variety of STEM projects
- Increased awareness of graduate opportunities
- Highlighting the multidisciplinary nature of engineering
- Winners at the Award and Presentation Day can gain £50 for their accomplishments!
Benefits to Schools and Colleges
- Facilitation of all Essential and Key Skills requirements
- Teacher professional development
- Enhanced industrial links
- Improved higher education links
- Raised profile of school/college within the local community
Benefits to Companies
- Potential Financial Savings
- Raised profile within the local community
- Development of Project Management skills contributing to employee CPD
- Creation of links with education
- Investing in the future workforce
WJEC Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification
The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is an officially accredited and established qualification, giving broader experiences than traditional learning programmes to students across Wales and is designed to suit the diverse needs of young people. The emphasis on learning through doing and the same value is placed on vocational as qualifications.
The EESW Sixth Form Project can be used in support of the assessment criteria for the Enterprise and Employability Challenge and the Individual Project core components of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced qualification.
Students participating in EESW can gain CREST awards at Gold or Silver level. CREST Awards are Britain’s largest national award scheme for project work in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). CREST is an individual award and students will need to demonstrate their personal contribution to the team effort and show that they have met the criteria for the award at a personal level. Students will be required to submit their CREST profile form with their project reports in February/March. At the Awards and Presentation Day in March/April, the project will be assessed by a panel of assessors and moderated by CREST.
For further information, please visit the British Science Association page on CREST