A specialist in industrial inkjet technology, Xaar, is sponsoring two Imagineering Clubs at local primary schools, designed to introduce children to engineering through fun activities. The sponsorships are part of Xaar’s role in helping to create the ‘engineers of the future’ and drive interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) amongst school students.
Supported by eight volunteer tutors from Xaar’s Operations and R&D teams, the weekly, hour long after school clubs are attended by up to 12 year six students at both Grove Primary School in Cambridge and Stukeley Meadows Primary School in Huntingdon. The students learn about basic science and engineering concepts and make working mechanical and electronics-based models, such as a Bloodhound SSC-inspired, balloon-powered ‘rocket’ car, a steady hand game and even an AM radio.
Imagineering Clubs are administered by independent education charity the Imagineering Foundation, which promotes science and engineering in schools and supplies those schools with special kits, which are in this case being funded by Xaar. Staffed by DBS-checked volunteers with engineering knowledge, the clubs’ aim is to introduce young people of 8-16 years to the world of engineering, science and technology through fun, hands-on activities.
Xaar’s involvement in the Imagineering Clubs is a direct result of Ted Wiggans, Xaar’s COO, attending and being inspired by a lecture delivered by Bob Shanks, Chairman of Imagineering, at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (iMechE).
Commenting on the sponsorship of the clubs, Wiggans said: “As a global technology business, Xaar requires the very best engineering talent, and it is therefore essential that we do our bit to inspire the next generation of engineers. Our sponsorship of the Imagineering Clubs is the perfect way to capture students’ imagination, and all the team at Xaar receive a great sense of achievement from working with the students at both schools.”
James Singleterry, Headteacher at Stukeley Meadows, added: “Our Imagineering Club is a great way for us to build on the work we do in school and develop students’ science and engineering skills even further. The tutors from Xaar provide a deep and inspiring insight into the diverse world of engineering – and ensure everyone has a lot of fun along the way.”
Karen Martin, Headteacher at Grove Primary School, commented: “The Imagineering Club has been very well received in the school and the children love attending it! We really appreciate the time Xaar gives to organising and running the club and helping create real excitement amongst the children about the STEM subjects each year.”