Xaar welcomed local pupils and teachers to its manufacturing site in Huntingdon last week, to showcase the fascinating opportunities that science, engineering and technology offers as a career.
The pupils and teachers from Stukeley Meadows Primary School in Huntingdon are all members of their STEM Imagineering Club (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and visiting Xaar provided the perfect trip to see a wide variety of engineering activities in action.
The tour gave the children a general introduction to Xaar and outlined how its leading inkjet technologies are used in multiple applications across the world, from decorating ceramic tiles and textiles to the latest in 3D printing and additive manufacturing.
The pupils saw the site’s impressive cleanroom where the printheads are manufactured, with accessible explanations provided on the process, its scale and complexity, and a focus on the importance of engineering and where it fits into innovation.
All the children also undertook several fun tasks including building a tower from spaghetti and marshmallows and designing their own fidget spinner which helped demonstrate the opportunities for inkjet in 3D printing and manufacturing. The also took part in a design challenge with the creation of a trophy that Xaar will produce as a 3D print and present to the students at a later STEM club meeting.
With 15 members of Xaar’s team directly supporting the visit the day was a great success. Graham Tweedale, Chief Operating Officer at Xaar said: “The response from the children was fantastic. We even had one of them saying they looked forward to working with us in 15 years’ time when their studies had finished!
“STEM subjects are essential to businesses such as ours and by making the children aware of the exciting use of technologies and science at Xaar we hope to open their eyes to the variety of career paths that engineering offers.”
As part of its Sustainability Roadmap, Xaar focuses on community engagement and local schools play a key part in this for the business. Since 2013, members of Xaar’s team have supported Stukeley Meadow’s Imagineering Club, helping students learn about basic science and engineering concepts and make working mechanical and electronics-based models.
James Singleterry, Headteacher at Stukeley Meadows, said: “This visit for the members of our STEM Imagineering Club has been a great way for us to build on the work we do in school.
“Seeing science and engineering in real life applications that are leading inkjet technology’s use around the world is inspiring and will help us develop our students’ science and engineering skills even further.
“The team from Xaar provided a deep and inspiring insight into the diverse world of engineering within their business – and our visit also ensured everyone had a lot of fun!”