A Ron Dearing UTC student is preparing for the adventure of a lifetime, tackling the highest trekking peak in Nepal to raise money for charity.
Matthew Preston-Blake, 15, and his father Kris Blake will trek 6,476 metres to the summit of Mera Peak during a 17-day endurance challenge that will test their stamina to the limit.
They are raising money for Freddie’s Friends, a charity set up in memory of two-year-old Freddie Appleyard, who was born with a rare brain disorder and died in December 2008 after battling a series of serious health complications since birth.
The charity provides specialist equipment, support and respite for disabled children and their families and more than £500 has already been raised towards Matthew and Kris’ £2,000 fundraising target.
The father and son duo have funded the entire cost of the trek themselves, ensuring every penny raised through donations is donated directly to Freddie’s Friends.
They will fly to Kathmandu on April 11 and onto Lukla, taking in stunning views of the Himalayas and acclimatising to the altitude and surroundings in the Mount Everest region.
Year 10 student Matthew and Kris are no strangers to trekking and Matthew became one of the youngest ever people to reach Everest Base Camp when he was just 12 years old, raising more than £1,500 for the Hull 4 Heroes charity.
They will be accompanied to the summit of Mera Peak by an experienced Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest 14 times.
Matthew said: “I’m really excited to reach the summit but also slightly nervous. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I love the culture, the people and everything about the country.
“I hope we can raise as much money as possible for the charity.”
Matthew and Kris will trek for between six to seven hours per day and stay in teahouses, similar to mountain lodges, overnight.
Kris, Director of Hull and Leeds-based AJ Building, a Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It will be great to complete another trek with my son and everyone at Ron Dearing UTC has been really supportive.
“I’m really proud Matthew can join me on this trek because he will gain some excellent life skills.
“He gained a powerboat qualification and open water diving certificate all before he was 13 years old and he’s been ice climbing in Scotland. This will be another great adventure.”
Matthew and Kris’ preparation for the trek included a weekend expedition in the Scottish Highlands, as the challenge in Nepal will put their fitness levels to the test during the trip.
Freddie’s mother Rachel Appleyard, who is also Key Stage 4 Information, Advice and Guidance Mentor at Ron Dearing UTC, said she is grateful to the pair for supporting the charity.
She said: “It’s amazing that Matthew and Kris have chosen to raise money for Freddie’s Friends.
“It’s a small charity run by my husband and I, and every penny raised will make such a difference to the children and their families.
“Everyone at Ron Dearing UTC is so proud of Matthew and Kris. Not only are they gaining such an incredible life experience, they’re raising awareness of Freddie’s Friends too.
“We’re looking forward to following their journey and hearing about it when they come back.”
Students at Ron Dearing UTC are playing a key role in shaping the school’s exciting expansion.
Ron Dearing UTC has received substantial grant funding from the Department for Education’s Post-16 Capacity Fund to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students.
The funding will be used to expand the employer-led school’s existing building in Kingston Square, Hull, with the addition of two new science labs and a Sixth Form Independent Study Centre.
A new hi-tech learning centre will also be created in the former Central Fire Station, next to Ron Dearing UTC, which will contain an exhibition centre, two digital suites, three art and design studios and a large Sixth Form Centre.
In line with the UTC’s commitment to decarbonisation, the expansion project will prioritise sustainable design and build solutions and embrace the latest green technologies in terms of heating, lighting and cooling systems.
Plans for the project have been submitted to Hull City Council. If they are given the green light, work is expected to begin in June and be fully completed by September 2023.
The Ron Dearing UTC Student Design and Build Team, consisting of ten students in Years 10, 11 and 12, has been appointed to work with staff, the UTC’s employer partners, architects, sustainability consultants and the construction team to ensure the new facilities reflect the needs of students, local businesses, the green economy and the environment.
The exciting expansion has created a perfect opportunity for Ron Dearing UTC students to work alongside professionals to apply theory learned in lessons to a real project. As well as having input into the design element, students will be involved in developing the sustainability strategy and budget management.
Sewell Construction has been appointed to deliver the project, following a competitive tendering process, dependent upon planning approval for the scheme.
Steve Dam, Pre-Construction Manager at Sewell Construction, and colleagues from the wider Sewell Group gave the student team a tour of the former fire station.
The students were shown images of how it looked when it was operational as a fire station, site plans, architectural drawings and artists’ impressions to give them an initial overview of the size and scale of the project and the challenges it presents.
Steve said: “It was great to meet the students and hear their ideas. They’re all incredibly enthusiastic and the tour was an important introduction to some of the design challenges we face to ensure the building is as sustainable as possible.
“By involving the students in each step of the project, they will gain valuable skills and knowledge to build on what they learn in the classroom and we’re delighted to play our part in that.”
Year 10 student Sandis Logins, 15, who is part of the Student Design and Build Team, said: “It’s great to be involved and I love working as part of a team. I’d like to be an engineer in the future and this is a perfect opportunity to work on a real-life project at such an exciting time for Ron Dearing UTC.”
Year 11 student Sienna Williams, 16, said: “The tour was eye-opening and it was interesting to see the space. I think the new facilities will be really good and open up more opportunities for students.
“It’s really important for the building to be sustainable and we’ll look at various ways to reduce carbon emissions. It’s great to be part of the team.”
Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to have hands-on input into a major project which will build on our outstanding employer-led education model at Ron Dearing UTC.
“The students are playing a key role in how our new learning centre will look and operate. It will be a fascinating experience for them to work alongside our architects, construction team and sustainability consultants to deliver the project on budget and within a fixed timescale, whilst ensuring we achieve a beautiful building that retains its original character and has the lowest possible carbon footprint.”
As well as ensuring the new learning centre and facilities support decarbonisation and promote renewable energy solutions, Ron Dearing UTC is working with its employer partners, including Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa, Ørsted, Ideal Heating and Equinor, to put sustainability at the heart of its curriculum.
Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering said: “We’re extremely committed to supporting the Humber region and the UK to achieve their net zero targets.
“In order to do so, it’s essential we produce young people with the knowledge, skills and experience to support the Humber’s growth as a leading region for green energy technologies.
“Our employer partners are working with us to ensure our curriculum does exactly this. Our state-of-the art low carbon learning centre will be the perfect learning environment for our green curriculum.”
The expansion will enable an additional 200 students to study Level 3 qualifications in engineering, creative and digital and provide local industry with an additional 100 highly skilled and qualified potential employees every year.
Ron Dearing UTC has been over-subscribed every year since it opened in September 2017 and caters for students aged from 14 to 19. The school offers a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.
The Department for Education’s Post-16 Capacity Fund ensures schools and colleges can accommodate an expected increase in sixth form students. Ron Dearing UTC is one of 39 providers across England that have been awarded a total of £83m from the fund.
Ron Dearing UTC students driven to succeed in a Formula 1-inspired global competition have raised thousands of pounds at a fundraising event to support their racing ambitions.
Seventeen Year 10 and Year 12 students are competing in the F1 in Schools challenge, the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition spanning 40 countries across the globe.
Based on the official F1 model, the teams have designed and manufactured their miniature cars using specialist Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, as well as developing their brand, time management and budgeting skills, building their social media presence and linking up with businesses to back their teams.
They recently held a fundraising event at Porsche Centre Hull at the Bridgehead business park in Hessle, which raised more than £10,000 towards offsetting the costs of each team and their potential participation at each level of the competition.
The event saw more than 100 invited guests meet the teams, listen to their pitches, race F1 in Schools-style cars and take part in a silent auction and raffle.
The teams pitched to potential sponsors, including representatives from the UTC’s employer partners, other leading businesses across the region and the students’ families and friends, about how their logos would be displayed and promoted on an international stage in the competition.
Sponsors included former professional boxer and Lightweight Commonwealth Champion Tommy Coyle, who is sponsoring the Mach Racing team, and Jupiter IT Solutions, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, which is backing the Vortex Racing team.
Some incredible prizes were up for grabs on the evening including a Silverstone experience day, F1 artwork, signed memorabilia, trips abroad and high-end hospitality experiences.
It comes as two of the four Ron Dearing UTC teams – Mach Racing and Vortex Racing – will now go on to compete at the regional finals, which will be held online via YouTube on April 22nd.
The two teams were selected based on their success against specific competition criteria such as their car’s performance and quality and effectiveness of their social media, marketing, presentation skills, teamwork and sponsorship strategies.
Simon Edwards, Teacher of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m so proud of all our students involved in the F1 in Schools challenge. The work they’ve produced so far is fantastic.
“We’d like to thank Porsche Centre Hull for their support and enabling our students to host such a great event in a fantastic space. We’d also like to thank our employer partners and everyone who attended to help them achieve their fundraising goals.”
The competition cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a 25-metre track by a nylon wire and raced. They are timed by a computer from the moment they are launched to when they pass the finish line and Ron Dearing UTC plans to plant trees to offset the carbon.
If the Ron Dearing UTC teams are successful at the regional finals, they will go on to compete at national and potentially international levels, with dates and locations yet to be decided.
Sarah and Adam Hodgson, parents of Year 12 Ron Dearing UTC student Mercy McFarlane, 16, attended the event to show their support. Mercy is the Design and Manufacturing Engineer in the Mach Racing team.
Sarah said: “Mercy has become devoted to the F1 in Schools challenge and it has helped her to grow in confidence. She is thriving at Ron Dearing UTC and everyone has done so well to organise such a great event.”
Year 10 student Henry Morris, 14, Social Media and Marketing Manager for team Overflow, said: “I’m very proud to be part of this event and F1 in Schools. It was interesting to speak to everyone who attended the fundraising evening and tell them what we’ve been doing.”
Sarah Hiles, Showroom Manager at Porsche Centre Hull, said: “I sat in on one of the presentations Mach Racing gave to our Brand Director and it would stand up in one of our board meetings. The students spoke so articulately and professionally.
“All of the students represent Ron Dearing UTC incredibly well and they’re so passionate and enthusiastic about the competition. They’re also learning many wider skills such as fundraising and presenting, which will stand them in great stead for later life.”
Students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC are continuing to cut their carbon footprints after an increase in cycling to school paved the way for a bike shed expansion.
Year 12 students Catherine Crees and Jaden Taylor were crowned winners of The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge 2021 for their ideas to help tackle the climate crisis.
Their project included researching and calculating how students and staff could reduce their carbon footprints by cycling to school rather than driving or using public transport.
Many of their peers and staff embraced the idea and were inspired to change their travel habits, resulting in the need to double the school’s bike shed facilities and create additional secure space to accommodate dozens more bikes.
Catherine, 17, said: “I’m really proud that we have been able to help people realise how they can become carbon neutral. Being able to provide more space for students and staff to safely secure their bikes is a really positive step and it’s brilliant to see our ideas are being taken on board.”
Jaden, 17, said: “It’s great to come up with an idea, work on it and see it come together. It gives me a brilliant feeling that we’re helping to make a difference.”
Organised by Marketing Humber, The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge, encourages young people aged nine to 18 to plan and deliver their own eco project and find sustainable climate change solutions as part of The Waterline campaign.
Catherine and Jaden’s winning efforts earned them a trip to the global United Nations climate change conference COP26, held in Glasgow last November, and saw them speak about their project at a fringe event during the event.
They also hope to spend their £2,500 prize money on a project that will involve planting a tree in Hull city centre for every Ron Dearing UTC student past, present and future.
Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, is among staff who often cycle to school.
Glenn said: “We’re starting to see how much of a difference making small, personal changes can make in terms of reducing our carbon footprint.
“I enjoy cycling my 24-mile round trip as often as possible and it’s fantastic to see so many students and staff adopting the same approach.
“As a school, we’re wholeheartedly committed to reducing our carbon footprint and playing our part in helping the region to achieve its net zero targets.”
Ron Dearing UTC is also a partner in the recently launched Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign, which is backed by dozens of businesses and will see Hull and the Humber lead the way to becoming carbon neutral.
Entries are now open for The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge 2022 and Ron Dearing UTC students will once again enter the competition. For further details visit https://thewaterline.global/students
Ron Dearing UTC is backing a major campaign that will see Hull and the Humber lead the way to the UK becoming carbon neutral.
We have joined more than 45 businesses and organisations supporting the Oh Yes! Net Zero initiative, which is developing an innovative economic “living lab” model to reduce carbon emissions and support a net zero future.
Launched by the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, Reckitt, one of our Founding Partners, together with fellow campaign partners, the initiative brings the private, public and education sectors together and supports the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.
Individuals, communities and organisations are being urged to sign up to the campaign and play their part in reducing their own carbon footprint, while encouraging other UK cities to strive for the same net zero ambition.
The Humber is the most carbon intensive industrial cluster in the UK, meaning Hull and the wider region are crucial to the UK’s net zero drive.
Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic that one of our Founding Partners, Reckitt, is leading this drive for sustainable practices across the city.
“The Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign aligns directly with our curriculum and the timing couldn’t be better as it links with our expansion plans which have a strong focus on supporting the growth of the region’s low carbon sector by providing the future workforce for these industries.”
Ron Dearing UTC has received approval and substantial investment to increase its capacity by reconfiguring space in the school’s existing building in Kingston Square, Hull, as well as creating a state-of-the-art new Centre for Sustainability in the former Central Fire Station next door.
The expansion cements the Ofsted Outstanding-rated school’s commitment to the skills needed to support the decarbonisation drive and the growth of renewable energy industries.
The Oh Yes! Net Zero launch took place at Reckitt’s Science and Innovation Centre in Hull, with COP26 President Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Reckitt CEO Laxman Narasimhan and leaders of major businesses and organisations addressing attendees. It was also watched online by more than 400 people.
Olympic gold medallist sailor Hannah Mills MBE also spoke at the launch, highlighting the work of the 1851 Trust, a charity which aims to inspire young people through sustainability, sport and education programmes. The event was hosted by writer and former BBC Science Editor David Shukman.
Mr Sharma said: “This is a unique campaign illustrating the action we need to see as the UK becomes carbon neutral by 2050.”
Mr Narasimhan said: “I’m delighted that Reckitt, along with our coalition of partners, is bringing together the people of Hull and the Humber to shape the region’s net zero future.
“The Oh Yes! Net Zero initiative, focused on one of Britain’s biggest industrial clusters, aims to unite and galvanise the region behind the central aim of reducing carbon emissions and supporting the UK’s target to become net zero by 2050.”
The founding partners of Oh Yes! Net Zero are Hull City Council, Marketing Humber, Reckitt and the University of Hull, Ron Dearing UTC’s lead education partner.
Individuals, households and organisations can say Oh Yes! to making their own changes to drive down carbon emissions by signing up for tips and advice at www.ohyesnetzero.co.uk
Ron Dearing UTC hosted a careers education event for more than 50 of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) from Ofsted from across the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region.
The UTC was selected as the venue for the event because of its hugely successful model of employer-led education and its highly effective Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG), which secures positive destinations for all students.
Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley and Chair of Governors Richard Martin, Customer Experience Director at Arco, delivered a presentation on how the school’s unique partnership with some of the region’s leading businesses is meeting the local needs of both young people and the economy.
They explained the school’s educational philosophy of teaching its students theory and then creating opportunities for them to apply this to real projects, working alongside the employer partners.
They also took inspectors through the UTC’s comprehensive careers programme, which is led by the Human Resource Directors from the employer partners and the University of Hull.
Ron Dearing UTC students took the inspectors on group tours to see first-hand a number of exciting employer projects students are working on with companies including Founding Partner Siemens Gamesa and Major Partners Designs and Jupiter IT Solutions.
In addition, inspectors visited the F1 in Schools challenge workshop, where teams of students were designing and manufacturing miniature CO2-powered cars based on the official F1 model using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).
Inspectors also met some former students who are now working as apprentices, including six apprentices from engineering company Spencer Group, which is a Founder Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, and two from safety experts Arco, which is a Major Partner.
During the afternoon session, inspectors shared good practice for inspecting careers education, which forms part of the evidence collected about personal development in the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) in England.
Sarah said: “It’s always great to be able to showcase the outstanding links we have with employers, which are fundamental to our model of education.
“It was a valuable experience for our students to talk about the different projects they are working on and to show the inspectors what they are doing.
“It was also lovely to see some of our former students who have gone on to successfully launch their own careers. They were able to tell the inspectors how Ron Dearing UTC gave them the edge to take their first steps on the career ladder and progress really successfully.”
Richard said: “We’re really proud of our employer-engaged model of learning. The UTC’s impressive student destinations statistics show how beneficial this way of working is to the students.
“It was great for me to be able to talk about the mutual benefits to employers as well. It’s a two-way relationship. The model wouldn’t work if the employer partners didn’t get as much out of it as the UTC does.”
Lee Elliott, Her Majesty’s Inspector, said: “The Education Inspection Framework highlights the importance of schools developing an effective, well-considered curriculum. However, it also places an emphasis on ensuring pupils are prepared for their next steps in education, employment and training.
“We wanted to highlight to inspectors the affect on pupils when schools get this right. Staff and pupils at Ron Dearing UTC should be congratulated for their efforts in this respect. They have developed extremely strong partner links with employers from Hull and beyond. This is helping to bring learning to life and ensure pupils see where their learning can take them in the future.”
Ron Dearing UTC was ranked number one out of more than 4,500 schools and colleges in England in the Department for Education’s latest destinations data for Year 13 leavers.
Of the 74 Year 13 sixth form students who took Level 3 A-level or technical qualifications in 2019, more than half (54%) went onto apprenticeships and sustained their destination – the highest percentage of any English school or college.
In addition, almost every student went onto positive destinations, including 32% progressing to further or higher education and 9% securing employed roles which were not apprenticeships.
The data for Ron Dearing UTC covers students who studied level 3 qualifications, including A-levels in Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Level 3 technical qualifications in Engineering, iMedia, Art and Design and Computing.
Leading businesses aiming to shape their future workforces have partnered with Hull’s Ron Dearing UTC to equip students with highly sought-after industry skills.
The Ofsted Outstanding-rated school has a host of Founding Partners, Major Partners and Partners comprising of many of the region’s foremost companies.
Now, six more businesses have committed to opening up further exciting opportunities for students and helping them gain key industry-standard knowledge and skills as they prepare for their future careers.
Norwegian-based Equinor is the largest individual supplier of oil and gas to the UK and is investing heavily in low carbon and renewables solutions, particularly hydrogen and carbon capture, in the Humber.
It is responsible for Dogger Bank, which will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm, situated in the North Sea off the East Yorkshire coast and capable of powering 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Saltend, to the east of Hull, is its flagship project which aims to decarbonise Saltend Chemicals Park and kick-start a Zero Carbon Humber, by producing hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage.
Tanguy Cosmao, Equinor’s Project Director at H2H Saltend, said: “This could be the first project of its kind in the UK and, if it gets the go-ahead, we’ll need people to work on it, and we want young people to be familiar with the technologies involved.
“We’re keen to explore the potential to take on apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC and offer work placements as our workforce of the future in the energy sector. We’re really impressed by how Employer Partners can help to shape the curriculum and have active involvement and we’re proud to be a Major Partner.”
IRISNDT is an international blend of Asset Integrity Engineering and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) companies providing a range of engineering, inspection, testing, heat treatment and software services to the renewable, petro/chemical, oil/gas, utility and transportation industries across the globe.
The business employs 1,500 employees in Canada, Australia, the USA and the UK, including offices at Saltend Chemicals Park in Hull and in Immingham.
IRISNDT, which took on one apprentice from Ron Dearing UTC last year, plans to take on a further two this year. It will also provide equipment, live demonstrations and technicians to guide students on industry knowledge and skills, and offer work placements.
Director Lee Richardson said: “We need to invest in youngsters coming through and give them an insight on how our business and the inspection industry works. If you can give someone a head start coming out of school, they’ve already got the fundamentals in place. We’re really looking forward to seeing how the partnership develops.”
Hull-based Jupiter IT Solutions provides managed IT support services and complete IT infrastructure expertise to businesses across Hull and the Humber.
Infrastructure Director Dan Gladstone said the business is helping to enhance IT modules studied by the UTC students and further equip them with the latest skills to give them the edge in the industry.
He said: “We’d like to take on trainees from the UTC and we’re looking at what skills we’d like them to have. If we pass on these skills and knowledge to them, it will help the IT industry as a whole to provide a better service to their customers.
“Ron Dearing UTC’s approach is unique and also about culture, hard work, mindset and attitude. It’s fantastic to work with the school.”
Hessle-based Quickline connects rural communities with superfast broadband in East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire, as well as North and West Yorkshire. It has grown from just five staff to more than 100 since 2008, with further plans to continue considerable growth this year.
Claire Hickey, HR Director at Quickline, said: “Ron Dearing UTC looks at education differently and does everything it can to prepare students for work. Fortunately for us, this includes focusing on the engineering and technical skills we’ll need as a business in the future.
“We’re growing quickly and feel the partnership will benefit Quickline, the UTC and the local area. We’re excited to be able to input into the curriculum and projects, supporting Ron Dearing to develop stars of the future.”
BACB, based at Ergo in Hessle, are renewables consultants and holistic decarbonisation experts, providing services including solar, battery, heat pumps and biomethane and hydrogen fuels.
The company, which aims to reduce carbon and costs and drive the green economy, has extensive background in the energy and renewables sector and Business Development Director Ciaran Sharpe said he plans to offer work placements and potentially apprenticeships to Ron Dearing UTC students.
He said: “Ron Dearing UTC is very forward thinking and we’re honoured to be a Partner. The students have state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips and the school has links with so many fantastic businesses, which is the future of teaching.
“We’re looking forward to bringing further realism to renewables through the curriculum.”
Pneumatic Engineering Ltd, based in Brandesburton, East Yorkshire, has specialised in the sales, installation, maintenance and repairs of small, medium and large compressed air systems since 1992, supplying installations for the water industry and automotive and renewable energy sectors.
Managing Director Martyn Hill, who began his career as a mechanical and pneumatic apprentice, said he hopes to offer work experience to Ron Dearing UTC students as well as opening up potential apprenticeship or paid employment opportunities.
Martyn said: “I had a very good engineering education and I want to give young people similar opportunities I had. Ron Dearing UTC is preparing its students for what it will be like when they enter the workplace and they treat them like adults, so they know what to expect.”
Ron Dearing UTC’s Major Partners and Partners develop and deliver employer-led projects, provide work experience placements and lead the UTC’s careers information, advice and guidance programme. Major Partners also play a key role in the development of the school’s unique, employer-engaged curriculum, while both Partners and Major Partners contribute financially to the school.
Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome so many new Major Partners and Partners to share their skills and expertise with our students.
“These industries are constantly growing and evolving and the more we can provide our students with the latest technology and knowledge, the more chance they have of securing the careers and paths they aspire to pursue in the future.”
Ron Dearing UTC has recently been named as the country’s top performing school or college for the percentage of students moving on to apprenticeships following sixth form. It is ranked number one out of more than 4,500 schools and colleges in England in the Department for Education’s latest destinations data for Year 13 leavers.
They learnt and conducted a range of scientific techniques, such as sampling a stream for different invertebrates, sampling areas of Dalby Forest and examining “areas of succession”, looking at the way the environment changes over time.
They also completed beach field work at Filey and investigated desiccated seaweed, barnacles and other organisms, and visited a farm to look at energy transfers involved in intensive farming, such as mass meat production from large pig farms.
Students George Hodgson, Will Jennison, James Coulson and Haitam Amudi, all 18, and Kate Hickingbottom and Ebony Revell, both 17, took part in the visit.
Kate said: “We all loved the trip and it gave us a great insight into how our classroom studies apply to real life.
“We enjoyed exploring lots of different environments such as rocky shores and lakes. Our favourite was Dalby Forest, where we had a picnic and used specialist equipment to investigate the stages of succession.
“All the tutors were really friendly and knowledgeable, helping us to identify any species we found and making our time fun.”
Sarah Buchan, Lead Practitioner for Biology at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It was wet, windy and fun all at the same time, and a truly invaluable experience.
“You can teach the theory in the classroom, but unless you put the techniques into practise you can’t understand the methods and analysis and how they work.
“An essential part of the course is practical work and it was also a good opportunity to look at specialist equipment, which wouldn’t have been possible if we weren’t on site.
“The impact that businesses have on the environment is becoming increasingly important too. This opportunity has allowed students to get hands-on experience of how this impact can be measured in order to maintain biodiversity.
“We weren’t able to run the trip last year because of Covid restrictions, so it’s great they’ve had the opportunity now and they haven’t missed out. Everyone really enjoyed it.”
Ron Dearing UTC students are preparing to go head-to-head with peers across the region and beyond in a competition inspired by Formula 1.
The F1 in Schools challenge is the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition with more than a million schoolchildren in 40 countries taking part every year.
Each team designs and manufactures a miniature car based on the official F1 model using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). The cars are powered using CO₂ cartridges and are attached to a 25-metre track by a nylon wire and raced, with teams competing at regional, national and international level, depending on their success.
This is the first time Ron Dearing UTC students have entered the competition, with 17 Year 10 and Year 12 students from the employer-led school taking part in four teams. The participants have created logos, designed their uniforms and planned social media and marketing strategies to promote themselves before designing and manufacturing their cars.
They also have to gain sponsorship from businesses, give a presentation on their work to a panel of expert judges from F1, manufacturing and engineering backgrounds, and create a pit display stand to promote their team.
Speed is a major factor in determining winning teams, as well as other criteria such as timing, innovative thinking and the specification of each team’s car.
The students recently visited Porsche Centre Hull at the Bridgehead business park in Hessle for a behind-the-scenes tour of the workshop, showroom, valet bay and state-of-the-art technology used to give customers the best possible service. They also met the Porsche Centre team, including staff who shared their career journeys with the students.
Simon Edwards, Teacher of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, who is leading the challenge on behalf of the school, is no stranger to success in F1 in Schools.
He previously taught in the Bahamas and United States and his students won the state championship of the competition in Illinois in 2018 and 2019, before winning the American national title last year.
Simon said: “Teamwork, delegation and accountability play a huge part in this challenge. It’s a great opportunity for the team members to grow in confidence, as they speak to so many people at various levels in industry throughout the challenge, and I have very high hopes for our students.
“The F1 in Schools challenge is taken very seriously because so many high level businesses and individuals in industry get involved. The British Williams F1 motor racing team even offers apprenticeships to some winners.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the Porsche Centre for being so accommodating and making us all so welcome during the visit.”
The challenge is part of Ron Dearing UTC’s extensive Enrichment Programme, which offers a host of opportunities for students to embrace an extra interest, such as cookery, theatre, learning a new language, music and more.
Due to Covid restrictions, the regional finals of the competition will take place online and teams will send their cars to the F1 in Schools organisers to race on their behalf, with the races available to watch on YouTube. If restrictions allow, the national finals will take place at Silverstone, the home of British racing, before the international finals which will take place in a location yet to be decided.
Sarah Hiles, Showroom Manager at Porsche Centre Hull, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Ron Dearing UTC students and they were all so enthusiastic.
“We believe it’s really important to invest in young people. We’re delighted to have been able to offer this experience.”
Ron Dearing’s UTC’s teams – Delta, Vortex, Overflow and Mach Racing – include students who bring various individual strengths to their groups and have chosen areas to specialise in, such as marketing, design or engineering.
Year 10 student Sandis Logins, 15, who is part of the Delta Racing team, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us and it was amazing to visit the Porsche showroom. It’s my favourite car brand and I really enjoyed the day.
“It’s fantastic to be part of the F1 in Schools challenge and I hope we make it to the finals.”
Year 12 student Mercy McFarlane, 16, who is part of the Mach Racing team, said: “Visiting the Porsche showroom was inspiring. There is a lot of flying and travelling in the motorsport industry, which is why we want to look at sustainability as part of our team.”
The students will hold a fundraising event at the Porsche Centre in Hessle on March 17th when invited guests will be able to support the teams in raising money towards uniforms, materials for the cars and other costs factored into their overall team budgets.
Any businesses who would like to support the students in the challenge, or attend the event, are asked to email Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, here.
Ron Dearing UTC is heavily oversubscribed for places for next year’s Year 10. As a result, last Thursday evening the oversubscription criteria were applied to all applications received by January 31, 2022.
Those students who were randomly selected have been contacted and offered a place. Their parents must now return the form enclosed with their offer to formally accept their place. All other applicants have been placed onto the waiting list (over 300 students).
If a student decides not to accept their place, we will go back to the waiting list and the oversubscription criteria will be applied again to identify a student to replace them. This student’s parents will then be contacted to offer their son/daughter the place.
The process will be complete by March 31, 2022. Any students who have not been randomly selected by this date will be sent a letter explaining that they have been unsuccessful gaining a place and providing information about the appeals process.
We appreciate that this is a very difficult situation for parents and students who have not been successful in gaining a place so far. We wish we were able to offer places to all students who applied but sadly do not have the capacity.