Sunderland students find opportunity on tap at innovation event

Students from Castle View Enterprise Academy in Sunderland take part in the STEM Fayre at NWG Innovation Festival.
Students from Castle View Enterprise Academy in Sunderland take part in the STEM Fayre at NWG Innovation Festival.
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Pupils from two Wearside schools have been given the chance to get hands-on with learning.

Students from Castle View Enterprise Academy in Sunderland and Usworth Colliery School in Washington took part in a special event as part of Northumbrian Water’s NWG Innovation Festival.

It’s been fantastic to welcome the children of Sunderland into the festival.

Nigel Watson

The festival is bringing major national and global businesses together with universities, schools and members of the public to look at a wide range of social and environmental challenges.

Headline sponsor Reece Innovation and the Centre For Life ran a special STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Fayre, for younger children.

It gave them a chance to find out more about subjects and how their application has fuelled creativity and inventions.

Northumbrian Water Group is part of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, which aims to bring more than 220,000 new recruits into the sector by 2027 by improving awareness of career opportunities within the industry.

Engineering specialist Reece Innovation was one of the firms involved in the fayre.

Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water’s Group director of innovation services, said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome the children of Sunderland into the festival.

“We are tackling some very important issues in our sprints this week, but the future workforce needs of the energy and utilities industry are as vital as any, so we need to enthuse young people about STEM subjects from an early age.

“We’re grateful to all of our headline sponsors for their support and it is fantastic to see Reece Innovation taking on the additional role of facilitating the schools challenge.

“Our industry requires more than 200,000 new recruits in the next 10 years, and we hope that through activities such as this we can inspire the next generation of entrants into the energy and utilities sector.”

Reece Innovation director Chris Pywell said: “As well as dedicating a week to tackling some very serious social and environmental issues, the NWG Innovation Festival aims to inspire young people about the possibilities of careers that involve STEM skills.

“The STEM Fayre is a fantastic way of doing this and ensuring the children have a lot of fun in the process.

“It’s fantastic to be working on such an ambitious Innovation Festival that we hope will result in many benefits.”