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A number of Isle of Wight businesses have sponsored 3 local primary school teams to take part in the national finals of the Jaguar Primary Schools Challenge, with an overwhelming response raising £1,535.

2 teams from Gurnard Primary School and 1 from Nettlestone Primary School will travel to Birmingham today (Tuesday 11th June) to compete in the national final. There they will represent the Isle of Wight and face tough competition from schools from across the UK.

Gurnard Primary School took 1st and 2nd place in the regional competition and are now looking forward to facing the national finals.

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Headteacher of Gurnard Primary School, Vanessa Hicks, said:

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support that we have received from local businesses. Both from people that are connected to the school and those that are not. It’s great to see how businesses are so keen to support future generations of talent linked to engineering, design and technology.”

“I think the reason they did so well is because there are a lot of children with talent and creativity. We are so incredibly proud of them.”

Team member Taylor Willows, aged 10, said:

“I am so thankful to the Isle of Wight companies that sponsored us so we can get to the finals. We even have funding to buy STEM products for our school.”

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The pupils and school STEM team will be buying STEM resources, tools and activities are inspired by this engineering challenge to leave a legacy for other pupils that for future years. Sponsors include: The Hut, Red Funnel, Esplanade, Ramboll, Airborne UK, Gurit, GKN Aerospace and Circular Economy.

Last Thursday, the 2 teams of Year 5 pupils visited GKN Aerospace in East Cowes. After a tour of the factory to gain an understanding of the manufacturing processes, the teams had the opportunity to practice pitching their design presentations to the GKN management team.

The pupils were quizzed about their designs, testing and display boards by the GKN team. The professionals were stunned by the knowledge, understanding and presentation skills of both teams.

By Erin Greenham, aged 10


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