SKIPTON Girls High School student, Poppy Mcbeath, 17, loves writing and eventually wants to become a journalist. She is currently studying A-levels in history, politics and English literature with the aim of pursuing her dream to go into broadcast journalism.

Here, she tells us about young engineers of the future at her school, and how they have been helping to develop a new sustainable gym that generates electricity for the school and pupils' laptops every time one of the students powers away at one of the pieces of exercise equipment.


THE pioneering Skipton Girls High School club, Engineers of the Future has been tasked with the creation of a generate gym on the school site, where use of the equipment will generate electricity to charge students laptops.

Once complete and connected to mains, students will be able to log in connectively and compete with one another over how much electricity they have managed to generate after exercising. The final aim is to use this electricity to power the lights in the entire arts block in the school.

Every aspect of the gym is being meticulously developed, with students even visiting Corn House Care Farm, near Pateley Bridge, where they sheared sheep to collect wool, so once treated, it can then be used for insulation.

Additionally, excellent progress has already been made, with students working alongside structural engineers and architects to build the foundations of the gym.

Recently, a cross trainer and bike have been installed, the roof has been built, and solar panels fitted. The goal is to have seven pieces of equipment installed eventually. The next upcoming project is an outdoor classroom that will be built on the school ‘hollow’, with the aim of encouraging students to embrace the environment whilst learning.

In the past, the Engineers of the Future have been involved in creating innovative school projects all around school, to help the school attain its goal of becoming more eco-friendly.

Teacher Rebecca Lofthouse, who last year won the ERA foundation’s David Clarke prize for ‘outstanding secondary teaching in the field of engineering’ runs the programme, explained that 'sustainability is at its core'.

She said the programme was undoubtedly empowering students to take up careers in engineering and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which will hopefully inspire them to challenge the underrepresentation of women in these career pathways.