PUPILS from schools in York and North Yorkshire became real-life engineers for a day as part of a bid to get more youngsters to study science and technology.

St Olave’s School – the junior school of St Peter’s in York – played host to a Faraday Challenge Day which saw teams of pupils researching, designing and building solutions to real engineering problems.

The day was part of a week of similar events across the country with teams from Fulford School, Joseph Rowntree School, Archbishop Holgate’s CE, Selby High School and Terrington Hall School in Ryedale also took part.

It was part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Faraday education programme which includes 55 practical challenge days across the UK with the aim of encouraging more young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and consider careers in these fields.

Each Challenge Day involved six school teams each made up of six 12 to 13-year-old students studying science, design technology or maths. Teams are given a secret engineering conundrum which sees them race against the clock to solve a real-life engineering problem, putting their STEM knowledge and skills to the test.

Prof Andy Hopper, IET president said: “The Faraday programme is all about inspiring and attracting tomorrow’s engineers. Engineering is often an invisible industry among young people. They sometimes have preconceived negative ideas about what engineers look like, the jobs they do and what they can earn.

“Through these challenge days and the entire Faraday programme we aim to encourage more young people to study STEM subjects and consider engineering as a possible career path.

“The students attending the challenge days will experience hands-on, practical events to challenge their perceptions and make them realise engineering is an exciting, rewarding career path.”

Each team member in the winning group will be awarded a prize and a trophy for their school. The top three teams from across the UK will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the national final in London in June to compete for a cash prize of up to £1,000 for their school.