Five students from Year 7 and 8 attended the RNLI Women in Engineering Day, alongside students from seven other local schools. It was a hugely fun and informative day and included lunch. The group were allocated three RNLI buddies to help them navigate around the site during the day.

The students had to take part in 9 different activities over the course of the day. First up was ‘Bridge Building’ where students were provided with 5 sheets of paper, 3 wooden lolly sticks and some sellotape to construct a bridge to support as many metal washers as possible for 15 seconds. Next was a simulator experience travelling in a lifeboat performing a rescue at sea from a tanker on fire – all the students said this was their favourite activity – they were given different roles to perform including driving the lifeboat.

There was a tour of the lifeboat building which included boat building, followed by a tour of the Shannon Lifeboat, which is the smallest of the large lifeboats and costs £2.2 million to build, here in Poole.

At the waters edge students were tasked with making a lifebuoy from empty 2 litre drinking bottles and rescuing someone from the water. The design for the buoy was made to help 3rd World countries as a cost effective option (they cost 50p to make as opposed to £40 for a more traditional type). There was then a talk from some of the RNLI apprentices, who explained all the wonderful opportunities that are available in Engineering and other genres in Poole. The students also got to try the communications units that are fitted in lifeboats.

After lunch students met with members of the Fire Service, specifically the rope rescue team. Amelia was chosen to be hoisted into the air by her peers. After chatting with more firefighters (female and male) students discovered that the station in Poole is one of only a few specialist Technical Search and Rescue teams in the country.

There was then a talk from some female civil engineers who design and build lifeboat stations, who set a task to build and construct a ramp to launch a model lifeboat. Students had 10 minutes to complete the task and working as a team, absolutely smashed it! The final activity for the day was a scavenger hunt using ‘what 3 words’ to navigate around more of the extensive site.

All the students came home with a goodie bag which included a RNLI cap.  A great day was had by all.

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