The Industrial Cadets Bronze Project launched in January 2021, with Chigwell School entering two teams from Year 8 and 9. The two teams met weekly over eleven weeks, to work on their projects. The students were supported by a teacher and an industry professional, from Leonardo, who acted as their project mentor through virtual meetings.

The Bronze Project is a 12-week programme that tasks teams with completing a STEM project on an issue surrounding the environment or the digital world. The Bronze Project, places teams of up to six students in a project management scenario to work together in finding a solution to a real-world problem, with guidance from a STEM professional as their project mentor and industry expert.

The aim of the programme is to boost interest in science, engineering and technology subjects, connect young people with industry and offer a valuable insight into STEM careers. Participating students also gain valuable skills such as project management, communication, teamwork and planning.

Both teams chose as their brief, ‘Tomorrow’s Technology Today’. The task was to explore technology of the past and present and use this knowledge to plan the technology of the future.

The Year 9 team rose to the challenge, developing a novel concept that would robotically deliver medical care to those in need. The Year 8 team focused their efforts on the environment and worked on a concept that would recycle batteries whilst carryout online deliveries. Both teams had to work together to submit a report, deliver a presentation and complete a ‘live’ assessment in front of a panel of senior industry professionals.

The teams graduated as Bronze Level Industrial Cadets on 23rd April 2021.

The Year 9 team did exceptionally well, they achieved second place for the Best Overall Project Award 2021 and were runner up for the Best STEM Solution Award 2021

The judges commented:

“This team demonstrated that they worked productively to propose a real and appropriate solution to have a lasting impact on their community. The team has looked at and proposed a solution to a problem through multiple approaches, including one that is highly creative and out of the box. Their written report was excellent it was clear and well written.

The time management of the team has been excellent, they produced a Gantt chart of the work they need to do for the project. They spilt into three smaller teams to do the research with a project manager in each smaller team.

During the interview every single team member answered the questions about the project. Some of the questions the assessor asked were challenging but the team answered these without hesitation and a good understanding of the project they had worked on. The team was also passionate about the project and this came through during the interview.

In their personnel reflections the team also stated how much they had learnt about time management and how important it is on a project, which will give the team skills going forward. And also how to work as part of a team. They also stated how much they have learnt about research and STEM and again these are skills which they will take away from the project and use going forward.”

The Year 8 team worked exceptionally hard on their project. The judges commented that they answered the questions really well on their assessment day. They had completed some good research about battery recycling identifying some problems that, coincidently, was being researched by one of the panel of experts.

Both teams performed really well and should be very proud of their achievements.

Abby Verney, of Leonardo commented:

“Over a 12 week period I supported Chigwell School as a Mentor on behalf of my company, Leonardo. It was a great experience working with the students and learning about their love for STEM. I really enjoyed assisting the team while they put forwards lots of great ideas and I couldn’t believe the level of passion they put into the project. As the industry mentor, I was able to watch the team grow and improve throughout the project both as a team and individually. The students settled on a project to improve battery recycling/ disposal in an attempt to benefit the environment. Each student added a great part to the team and I feel very proud of all they have achieved, they are the future of STEM Careers. Although they did not win an award, they did incredibly well and have been recognise for their hard work shown through their final project. Congratulations Chigwell!”

Alex from the Year 8 team commented:

“I have noticed that after doing this project I have become much more organised when I am doing my work and even just doing things around the house. I have also learnt how to communicate more. I think that doing a challenging project like this with people that you don’t know is a great way to learn how to work well in a team. On top of this I have learned a lot about how to write a good quality report thanks to our mentor and teacher.”

Aleena from the Year 8 team commented:

"Since this project, I have noticed that I have started to communicate better in a team and when working with people. Working on this project has not only improved my social skills but also improved my knowledge – especially in STEM!"

We are very proud of the achievements of our students who worked hard in challenging times, communicating online for most of the programme.

Year 8 Team

  • Thomas, Holly, Aleena, Alexander, Samuel and Louis.

Year 9 Team

  • Pranay, Eloise, Benjamin, Larissa, Lucy and Rhys.

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