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CIEC’s Children Challenging Industry Programme Continues With Success Across the Tees Valley

Children Challenging Industry (CCI) is an innovative approach that inspires young people and their teachers to engage with science and industry and explore STEM careers.

It is run by the Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC) at the University of York and offered to primary schools across the Tees Valley. CCI is highly successful in increasing children’s enjoyment of science and their aspirations to become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

Between January and March 2022, six classes from four Tees Valley primary schools completed a total of thirty hours of CPD and support by taking part in Children Challenging Industry, with funding from the Tees Valley Combined Authority as part of the Primary Careers Pilot. Participating schools this term includes:

Polam Hall Primary School (Darlington), Whinstone Primary School (Stockton on Tees), St. Cuthbert’s RC Primary School (Hartlepool), Red Hall Primary School (Darlington).

One of the most popular Children Challenging Industry activities this term has been ‘A Leaky Line’ whereby children are challenged by local industry to help them to test and identify suitable materials to seal the joint in a leaking pipeline on site. As a follow up to this, children then carry out the investigation, ‘That’s Cool’ whereby they find out about different ways to cool down hot liquids so that they can be used again around the plant.

Children develop their team working skills by working in small groups to measure amounts of liquid, take temperatures, plot cooling graphs and decide which is the most efficient method of cooling. They also learn about cooling towers and heat exchangers and how they work on local industrial sites.

Each participating class is linked to a local industry. During the classroom sessions, the children have fantastic opportunities to take part in ‘live interactions’ with scientists and engineers from this company, and part of this involves the children asking a wide range of questions to satisfy their curiosity about working in industry.

Children from Whinstone Primary School, Ingleby Barwick, asked some incredible questions to Jane Robson and Michelle Bell from Seqens in Middlesbrough, here is a selection of them below:

Do you ever feel like you can’t face work because it is open on Christmas?

What happens if there is a power cut?

How long does it take to train to work in industry?

Is it hard working in industry?

What qualifications do you need to work there?

Is it dangerous?

What is the hardest thing you have ever worked on?

If a really important person is off what do you do?