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Great British engineering talent showcased to students through origami

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The engineering space contributed GDP of £455.bn in 2014 – 27.1 per cent of the total – and employs around 5.5m people. However, data has said that 182,000 people per year will be required by 2020, but just 55,000 are being employed currently, which puts potential additional economic contributions of £27bn a year at risk.

In keeping with that, the Big Bang UK Fair, which is designed to help nurture aspiring engineers and scientists nationwide, teamed with pupils from Tottenham University Technology College to showcase their hunger for learning in a rather innovative fashion – origami.

Tottenham UTC – a place of learning for 14-18 year olds – worked with Big Bang to develop a 12-foot (3.6 metres) boat that set sail on Southwark Boating Lake in London to signal the countdown to the forthcoming STEM careers fair.

Around 100 metres of specialist durable paper – the length of a football pitch – were used to design the boat, which was captained by engineer and Isambard Kingdom Brunel – the man responsible for the Great Western Railway – descendant, Morwenna Wilson, who is currently working on projects at London King’s Cross Station.

Wilson, said: “Engineering runs in my family, and I really want to show young people that this career can open doors to amazing opportunities and adventures. From creating a huge origami boat, constructing a new skyscraper, or designing an aeroplane, so many things we travel on, live in or use in our everyday lives involve engineering.”

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Daniella Jennings, a 15-year-old student from Tottenham UTC, London said: “It was cool to see how they managed to make a huge version of the kind of paper boats you can make at home. I didn’t even realise that was something engineers could do.”

Paul Jackson, CEO of EngineeringUK, added: “The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is passionate about showing young people the exciting and rewarding opportunities there are for them in careers in the sciences and engineering.  We hope that The Good Ship Big Bang will excite children to consider new ways of thinking to develop solutions to the way we live our lives in the future.”

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