Protecting the coastline with Flying Bull Academy

We were contacted by Flying Bull Academy earlier in the autumn to ask us if we'd come in and talk to the students about the Southsea Coastal Scheme, to help them with their year 4 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) project. Kate Firth and Chris Koster from the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, were more than willing to oblige! Over to Kate to tell us more..... Since joining the Partnership in July, as an Industrial Placement Year student, I have been keen to engage with local schools to tell them about our work and how vital it is to protect our coastline. My passion to do this comes from being a STEM Ambassador at Plymouth University and understanding the growing need for people to work in STEM disciplines now and in the future. Engineering UK completed a study earlier this year and found there is an annual shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates and a need for 265,000 skilled people in the sector annually until 2024, however fewer than one third of young people claim to know what those in the engineering sector do. So, how are we going to close this skills gap if few people know what we do? ENGAGEMENT! Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership were given a chance to engage in November when The Flying Bull Academy got in touch with the Southsea Coastal Scheme, wanting us to introduce their students to an exciting new project they will be undertaking. The project, aimed at Year 4, is to learn all about how Portsmouth’s coastline can be protected and then design a new defence for the city. Chris and I visited the school and gave a presentation on the existing defences and the problems Portsmouth faces. We then had a brilliant question and answer session about what materials can be used and how much the sea level is rising. Later in the week, the Year 4 class visited the existing defences at Southsea and measured how high they currently are. The children are going to continue their research and then invite us back in a few weeks to look at the defences they have designed. For more information and pictures, take a look at the school's website.