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MADE causes a Big Bang for Torbay’s aspiring engineers

MADE causes a Big Bang for Torbay’s aspiring engineers

Four local schools presented their projects to a panel of independent judges at the Torbay MADE Manufacturing Challenge Finals at The Big Bang Fair South West.

The event is the largest celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in the South West region.

Pupils from St Cuthbert Mayne School, Churston Grammar School, Torquay Academy and The Spires College demonstrated the skills and expertise they had learned by working with local engineering companies as part of the MADE project.

Councillor Swithin Long, Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, who helped judge the competition, said: “The students were an inspiration, and it was great to see how confident they all were and the wonderful products they produced. It would be great if this competition helps them to choose their future career. This key project also supports Torbay Council’s Economic Strategy.”

Deborah Passmore, Partnership Executive at TDA, said: “The Manufacturing Challenge involves year 7 and 8 students to work with a manufacturing business to design, test and produce a product which will promote their business to customers.

“The companies supporting the Manufacturing Challenge this year are DVS, Effect Photonics, Torbay Pharmaceuticals and Spirent Communications. Without these businesses the Challenge would not be possible so we are very grateful for their time and support.”

The winning team were Churston Grammar School, who partnered with Torbay Pharmaceuticals for their project. Torbay Pharmaceuticals, who are based in Paignton, manufacture and supply essential injectable pharmaceutical products globally.

Emma Rooth, Managing Director of Torbay Pharmaceuticals, which is part of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support students at Churston Grammar School on their MADE project.  

“From the development of their initial ideas through to creation of the final product we were impressed by the creativity and industry of all those involved. As a local employer we are keen to encourage the development of skills that will help students secure future employment opportunities and MADE has been a great way to do this.”

Over 3,500 young people in Torbay have taken part in MADE as well as 25 Businesses and 13 Schools.

Partnering with companies and schools, TDA delivers a series of events and challenges to promote apprenticeship and graduate roles and career opportunities in engineering, including visits to top engineering companies. TDA received funding from the South West Peninsula City Deal Futureworks Fund, and further funding from TDA enables the delivery of the project.

Jason Buck, Investment Development Manager, TDA said “It was a privilege to be a panel judge for the MADE Manufacturing Challenge and meet some wonderful students with amazing ideas. It is a hugely important initiative that encourages the STEM skills development of the future workforce. Not only do Torbay’s growing hi tech and manufacturing companies need this, but importantly also those looking to expand here.”

Congratulations to Fred Jempson, Tom Ridalls, Freya Caskey-Sutton and Austin Pritchard on winning the competition with their superb project.

If you are interested in the MADE project and how it can support STEM engagement you can email [email protected] or call 01803 208378 for more information.

For more information about MADE and the Manufacturing Challenge visit

About The Author

Boost News Desk

Robert Haylor has 14 years of web development experience, starting out as a web developer whilst still in his university dorm room at Birmingham City University. With a background and a strong interest in website design & development he is skilled in a variety of programming languages including PHP, MySQL, CSS3 and HTML5. As Managing Director of Boost Digital Media, he regularly jumps on to client projects on a daily basis as well as ensuring the company strategy is being implemented and is delivering results.

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