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The revolutionary Rotor Challenge was a star attraction again in November at the Get Inspired schools careers event at Southampton Guildhall.

The Hands on the Future (HOTF) group was invited by EBP South and Southampton City Council to bring their engineering Challenge to the event, which was attended by some 800 local students aged 12-18.The Challenge gets students to measure a range of precision components and decide which can be used to fit a helicopter rotor.

HOTF aims to expand this exhibit from aero technology to include marine and vehicle demonstrators at school, college and educational events in the south in 2020.

Peter Mucci, one of the HOTF founders, said: “It came as quite a surprise for many of the visitors to discover that advanced engineering needs good mind/hand skills. Things are not made, maintained or repaired on computer screens alone, but need well-educated and trained people at all levels.

“The HOTF team was surprised at the speed with which even the youngest pupils learnt to use measuring instruments and the great interest they showed in the equipment on display. At times we felt everyone was crowding around the Challenge stand!”

HOTF is a group of local engineers and communicators who bring real life engineering to careers’ events, so that students can learn more about a profession which employs millions of people. However, the shortage of engineers in the UK is likely to be more than 100,000 by 2024.

The Southern region has hundreds of engineering firms, from the very small to international companies producing products and components of the highest precision. Local firms supplied much of the equipment in the display.

This event followed a successful presentation of the Challenge to schools at EBP’s Get Inspired New Forest at Beaulieu in June.

Please support HOTF at EBP’s Get Inspired Test Valley event at the Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, on 26 March; and/or at Big Bang Solent at Botleigh Grange on 30 April.

Contact Peter Mucci: peter@handsonthefuture.co.uk

Editorial contact, Nick Keith: nickkeith47@gmail.com

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