NEARLY 400 budding engineers have taken part in a Festival of Engineering at Babcock’s Rosyth site.

The three day event welcomed primary and secondary pupils to Babcock’s new engineering centre, the William Rankine Building.

Also attending was a range of politicians including Lord Ian Duncan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland; Stephen Metcalfe MP, HM Government Envoy for the Year of Engineering; Annabelle Ewing, MSP for Cowdenbeath and Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife.

Employees working at Babcock’s Rosyth site and their families also took part in the variety of engineering themed activities on offer.

Six zones showcasing some of engineering’s cutting-edge innovations were available for the children to experience, with activities ranging from chocolate welding and 3D printing, to virtual and augmented reality – and racing cars. Everything was geared towards encouraging the pupils to think about becoming our engineers of the future.

The Babcock Innovation team also showcased its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) projects, demonstrating how this technology makes hull surveying and mast head checks on naval vessels a lot safer for operators.

The team also showcased a new communications technology called Li-Fi, which provided plenty of fun when the pupils used it for video chats.

The young visitors had the opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ with the ROV and took turns of searching for sunken treasure from the safety of dry land, as they manoeuvred the camera-equipped rover around a specially built outdoor swimming pool.

Angela Sutherland, a primary five teacher at St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Kelty, said: “It was an absolutely amazing day, which has created enthusiasm around engineering and stimulated the children’s interest. I think events like this make a huge difference to the career choices of our young people.”

The event took place during the Year of Engineering 2018 – a government campaign which celebrates the world and wonder of engineering – of which Babcock is a proud partner.

Frankie Stephenson, a primary seven pupil at King’s Road Primary School in Rosyth, described the experience as “extraordinary”.

He added: "I enjoyed the fun tasks that we got to do the most. When I’m older, I’d like to be an engineer or a photographer. I definitely learned more about engineering today.”

Managing Director of the Babcock Rosyth site, Sean Donaldson, said the underlying theme of the Festival was ‘tomorrow’s engineers’.

"It is vitally important to Babcock and the wider engineering industry that we inspire the next generation of engineers, and we hope that our event at the Rosyth site went some way towards achieving this," he added.

“It was fantastic to see so many enthusiastic pupils enjoying the engineering activities; some of them commented that engineering was a career they would consider after leaving school, which was great to hear.”

HM Government Envoy for the Year of Engineering, Stephen Metcalfe MP, added: “The Year of Engineering campaign is working with partners like Babcock to deliver one million experiences of engineering to young people. Events like the Babcock Festival of Engineering help children of all backgrounds discover first-hand just how creative and exciting life as an engineer can be.”