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The University of Southampton

Teenagers to discover the excitement of engineering

Published: 12 July 2004

Schoolchildren will be building their own airliners, powerboats and all-terrain vehicles this week (12-15 July) as part of a special 'Headstart' engineering taster course at the University of Southampton.

Expert staff and students from Ship Science, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering are organizing hands-on challenging projects for more than forty 14 year-olds (including nine girls). The young people will get a unique insight into the life of an engineer in the aerospace, car and yacht racing industries. They will also find out what it is like to be a university student as they will live in halls during the course. Social events including bowling and a trip to the University's new Jubilee Sports Centre have also been arranged.

The teenagers will be divided into six groups to design, test and build their craft over three days. The summer school will end with races in front of their parents and a prize-giving ceremony. Airbus has contributed prizes for the event.

Academic Director Dr Kenji Takeda commented, "It's going to be a fantastic week and we hope it will encourage these young people to consider a career as an engineer in these exciting industries. There are so many excellent opportunities for students to choose from."

Notes for editors

  1. Headstart is a well-established summer school programme aimed at encouraging students of the highest ability to consider careers in technology-based industries. It provides an opportunity for those taking mathematics and science to spend up to a week at university, before making UCAS applications. The Ford motor company is a major supporter of the scheme.
  2. The University's School of Engineering Sciences runs leading degree courses in Ship Science, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Southampton is unique in having preferred 'academic supplier' status with Airbus, BAE SYSTEMS and Agusta Westland, and in providing engineering undergraduate training to the Armed Forces under the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme.
  3. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4,800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.
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