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Portsmouth International Port inspire the next generation with interactive STEM careers day

Children from local schools interact with the Royal Navy STEM stand at Portsmouth International Port

On Thursday 2 May, Portsmouth International Port was home to over 270 school students who enjoyed a day exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers and the opportunities businesses can offer them on their doorstep.

The interactive event included hands on activities provided by the Royal Navy, Wightlink, BAE Maritime Systems, Mary Rose Trust, AWE, L3Harris, Bird Aware Solent, Hovertravel, SMS Towage and the University of Portsmouth. Pupils from six different primary schools in and around Portsmouth were also taken on a guided bus tour around the port and Portico, Portsmouth’s cargo terminal, to learn about how the port operates and the different vessels it can handle.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “Interactive careers days like these are important to demonstrate to students the sheer number of career paths that are available to them in Portsmouth. Our city owned port is at the forefront of innovative technology and businesses across the city are investing in ground-breaking systems which will lead STEM industries for years’ to come. This next generation of technology will be delivered by the next generation of young people.”

This special careers day was organised by Portsmouth International Port to highlight the wide range of maritime and engineering based businesses across the South coast. Students were encouraged to try out new technologies to build boats, plot shipping routes and use robotics to take on complex tasks and activities.

Elizabeth Dyer, headteacher at Nine Acres Primary School on the Isle of Wight said: “Our students had the most amazing day, and it was a brilliant opportunity to expose Portsmouth International Port to young people on the Isle of Wight. One student who has always said he wants to be a builder when he’s ‘older’ was fascinated with the crane he saw on the day, lifting and moving containers across the cargo terminal. He was so excited and is now saying he can see himself doing a job like that in the future.”

Schools involved were:

  • Boundary Oak School
  • Beacon View Primary Academy
  • King’s Academy College Park
  • Medina Primary
  • Nine Acres Primary
  • Woodcroft Primary School

One of the newest exhibitors involved in the day was the TechTruck, a portable mobile education facility which allows children and young adults to interact with marine simulations, drones, virtual reality and more. The TechTruck was part funded by the South Coast Institute of Technology which the port is a anchor partner of.

Stephen Shaw, LEGO education trainer said: “It was great to be a part of the Portsmouth International Port STEM day. The children were really enthusiastic and loved using the LEGO maritime project to explore and design their own ships and boats based on what they could see at the port on the day.”