Budding young engineers worked in teams to build driverless pods out of Lego in the annual Heathrow Secondary School Challenge.
This year’s robotics and coding task was taken on by more than 2,600 students at 14 schools across Ealing , Hounslow , Hillingdon , Slough and Spelthorne, steered by airport workers help and knowledge.
In a bid to inspire the next generation of engineers, groups of Year 8 pupils worked together to build then programme the pods to travel a set route, based on Heathrow’s driverless pods at Terminal 5.
The introduction to coding was driven by the government’s STEM programme to encourage more young people to take up science, technology, engineering and maths.
Head of careers at Featherstone High School in Southall, Andrew Webb, said: “As a school we were really impressed by the excellent programme. Working with the Lego robots gave the Year 8 students the opportunity to put their coding skills into practice on a practical application.
“The presence of a wider range of Heathrow’s employees gave the students the opportunity to find out what it is engineers really do and the wide range of entry routes into the profession.
“As Year 8 students consider their future careers the day has helped many to understand the vast range of highly skilled and well-paid jobs available within the local community.”
Heathrow chief information officer, Stuart Birrell, added: “Investing in key skills such as coding through schemes like our Secondary School Challenge is important to us and the schools we work with.
“It was great to see such enthusiasm from the pupils to learn new skills as they got to grips with this year’s challenge. Hopefully some of these young people will be inspired to become our engineers of the future.”
List of schools involved in the challenge:
• Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls
• Featherstone High School
• Dormers Wells High School
• Brentside High School
• Northwood School
• Harlington School
• Swakeleys School for Girls
• Cranford Community College
• Feltham Community College
• Chiswick School
• Herschel Grammar School
• Baylis Court School for Girls
• St Joseph’s Catholic School
• Sunbury Manor School