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16th December 2014 - Inspiring Youngsters in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths    

Dr. Peter Hughes

The President welcomed members and speaker Dr peter Hughes OBE.  Dr Hughes talk was about Primary Engineering programmes, an organisation whose aim is to inspire young people in , and develope and understanding of, engineering, science and technology.

Dr Hughes is, by profession, a metallurgist and has had a wide and varied career in engineering, which he expressed with enthusiasm and passion.   His other interests include music, he has a folk group and plays guitar and mandolin, and he was elected junior vice-president of the Burns World Foundation.

Dr Hughes is currently chairman of Primary Engineering Programmes which introduces engineering into primary schools throughout the United Kingdom.   In this capacity he travels widely, visiting schools to highlight the excitement and satisfaction obtained from a career in engineering or science.  In his talks he uses music to capture pupils attention and to entertain them.

Primary Engineering Programmes is sponsored by engineering companies.  The organisation works with local councils to introduce the scheme into schools.  It conducts workshops and provides equipment for teachers to enable them to organise and operate the scheme in their school.

The scheme is competitive, with local and national competitions in engineering projects.   One competition he described had teams of two pupils design and build a vehicle from a variety of parts and materials.   The tests on the vehicles included distance and straightness of travel and ability to reverse and to climb inclines.  The designs shown indicated an amazing imagination and ability in these young people.

There is also a Scottish Engineering Leader Awards scheme which allows pupils to take an engineering test to achieve certification from the Institute of Primary Engineering and the Institute of Secondary Engineering allowing participants to put IPE and ISE after their names, encouraging further acheivement.

Dr Hughes' talk was highly entertaining and informative and it was gratifying to know that such organisations exist.

The Club's New Year Lunch will be held on 6th January and the next meeting is on 20th January when Brian Marjoribanks will talk on 40 years of broadcasting.  

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