More than 8,000 people attended the second Spark Engineering Festival at Lincoln Cathedral at the weekend (April 17-19).
The free event showcased Lincolnshire’s rich engineering heritage, as well as the cutting-edge developments in maths, science and technology that are happening across the county right now.
Visitors were able to view a number of exhibits and interactive displays, including a 50ft timeline of engineering, meet representatives from local firms and take part in a variety of hands-on activities.
Organised by local engineering firms, the festival was an opportunity to find out more about the innovation taking place around the city, and aimed to inspire people to take an interest in engineering - perhaps even encouraging a career in the sector.
Paul Taylor, CEO of Dynex and Chairman of the festival, said: “We have world-leading people and world-beating engineering businesses, teachers, researchers and technologists who are applying their knowledge and skills to innovate design, create and supply the best engineering people, services and products worldwide.
“We are delighted with how popular the event was. Initial feedback we have received has been extremely positive, with many finding it both enjoyable and educational. I’d like to thank all the firms and organisations who took part. I hope we have inspired the next generation of engineers right here in Lincoln.”
An online quiz run during the weekend was won by Adam Capon, from Scunthorpe, who correctly answered all the questions in the quickest time. Adam won a coffee book version of the Spark Festival timeline.
Mike Bristow, Maintenance and Facilities Manager at Wyman Gordon, said: “The amount of interest shown at our stand was unbelievable - far greater than we anticipated.
“I think we certainly gained a lot more local support and interest in what we do. Lots of visitors couldn’t believe that we had one of the world’s largest hammers, producing satellite parts for missions to Mercury and large components for Aero Engines, here in Lincoln, on Monks Road!
“It was a real boost for us and great to be able to showcase what we do.”
More than 400 pupils from across the county took part in the Schools Day on Friday, April 17, finding out more about Lincoln’s past, present and future in engineering.
Vanessa Hopkinson, Assistant Headteacher at Dunholme St Chad’s C E Primary School, described the day as a ‘unique opportunity’ for their Year 6 pupils: “It’s so important to hook them in to engineering at this age, before secondary, so they can see a purpose to sciences and maths and motivation can grow before options have to be taken.
“Children are more aware of the opportunities engineering can lead to and the vast number of companies in Lincoln. They were fascinated seeing real parts of aircraft made in Lincoln. The workshops were brilliant - hands on and engaging.”
Spark Engineering Festival was organised by local engineering firms including Siemens, Micrometric and Dynex, along with the University of Lincoln, Lincoln College and the University Technical College, supported by City of Lincoln Council, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and the Education Business Partnership.