The Barrow Engineering Project

FESP About Us

The Barrow Engineering Project (BEP) was launched in April 2008 and is a major component of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s ongoing effort to encourage greater numbers of young people – and young people from a more diverse range of backgrounds – to become engineers and technicians. 

Since its launch the BEP has worked with five secondary schools, two further education colleges, local businesses and other stakeholders in Barrow-in-Furness, to actively engage students with engineering. 

In June 2020, Sir John Fisher Foundation kindly awarded the Furness Education and Skills Partnership (FESP) a grant  to enable delivery of the Barrow Engineering Project. Previously funding had been accessed through the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In the academic year September 20 / July 21 the BEP provided 5,745 STEM learning opportunities for pupils in the BEP schools, involving 286 teaching staff.

aims & objectives

BEP Image for FESP Homepage
Our aims and objectives are:

Our students have become very motivated to participate in STEM events. They have been exposed to a variety of Engineering centered experiences with different mentors and professionals. This has enabled them to see from these role models what an Engineer typically looks like and and what they do in the modern workplace. This has eradicated a gender biased stereotypical view and particularly encouraged girls into STEM activities. Our STEM clubs are now oversubscribed.

Mr Peter Davidson, Victoria Academy

Activities funded by the BEP

STEM Clubs, continue to form the basis of the school activities and whilst some of clubs had their activities curtailed, co-ordinators have ensured that appropriate events have taken place whenever and wherever possible. Additional resources and equipment has been purchased to support their delivery, examples being:

Furness Education and Skills Partnership Examples of BEP Activities - FESP
Furness Education and Skills Partnership Examples of BEP Activities - FESP

The funding has been invaluable as it has enabled Year 11 to access Solidworks from home during lockdown. This has meant that their coursework has progressed even though they could not access the school facilities.

Mr Dave Knott, Chetwynde School

BEP Participants

Primary Schools

BEP square image for FESP website

Secondary & FE Schools

The funding has allowed us to facilitate a host of activities and purchase new technology which has had a great impact with our students bringing a further awareness and enjoyment to STEM subjects. There has been a higher uptake of girls opting to continue GCSE to study Design Technology and statistics based subjects this year.

Mr Liam Costa, Walney School

British Science Week (5th to 14th March 2021)

The BEP schools once again provided a great variety of activities and events for their students to become involved in, however as with Tomorrows Engineers Week some of the events took place outside of the designated timeframe but again it was communicated to the students that the activities were part of British science week and funded by the BEP.

George Romney Junior School organised a linked English / science and DT project based on the book ‘What will we build’? by Oliver Jeffers. The children worked in pairs to design their dream inventions / creations and ideas. 

The whole school then entered the ‘Young Engineers’ 2021 competition with inventions and creations based on how to improve their world. 

Year 6 children also entered the UlverSTEM design a poster competition and were delighted to have 2 entries selected as winners.

The funding that Furness Academy has received over the years from the BEP has enabled the students to gain access to specialist equipment and experiences 9that in many cases would be inaccessible) due to budget constraints. The additional funding enables staff to develop their own subject interest and this in turn results in greater opportunities for our students to gain a keen interest and graeter understanding of the subjects which has ensured that many of our school leavers are encouraged to apply for either apprenticeships or college courses within STEM related subjects.

Mrs Helen Robinson, Furness Academy

Tomorrows Engineers Week (2nd to 6th November 2020)

All schools were provided with funding to enable activities to take place throughout the week and a great number were undertaken….
Wherever possible the activities took place within the given dates but permission was given to move out of this timeframe due to school closures but when the events took place it was highlighted to the students that it was BEP funding for ‘Tomorrows Engineers Week’ that enabled the activities to take place.

Holy Family

Purchased a set of books that were used as a starting point for a DT / STEM based design and build project. This resource was used across all classes as the stimulus for the project.

Victoria Academy

Purchased a new ‘go cart’ (to replace an existing one suffering wear and tear) enabling the annual ‘Cartmania’ project to go ahead.

St Pius X School

Used their funding to support a whole school STEM day based around ‘Engineering Fairy tales’.

Pennington School

Had a focus for Key stage 2 on Light, Sound and Forces associated with Engineering and its impact on the planet.


Saw the children embark on some truly wonderful exercises using virtual reality headsets. They have explored climbing the Alps which linked to a Geography project, learnt how to fly and control machines, experienced roller coasters. The ‘Oculus’ has been a fantastic purchase which has only been made available due to the funding provided.

George Romney Junior School

Acquired a large motorised Orrery (motorised model of the solar system that demonstrates the motion of the planets around the sun) enabling the students (and the staff) to better understand how the solar system works.

South Walney Junior School

Used the funding to allow Year 3 students to design build and test rockets, Year 4 an Electrics activity using ‘Bright Sparks’ equipment, Year 5 and 6 designed and built Roman Chariots driven by ‘Spheros’ programmed using the school ipads.


Produced resource boxes of SMART and Modern materials / products that had been used within the curriculum area and students were invited to name the product and its use with prizes being awarded to the winning entries.

Furness Academy

Initiated extra Key Stage 3 and 4 competitions run through social media platforms with an Engineering Club being delivered remotely via ‘Teams’ and prizes awarded accordingly.

St Bernard’s

Used the funding to provide an in house competition within Year 9 aimed at future design Engineers (and to promote DT and Engineering prior to option choices at GCSE). The competition was based around the theme of’ Green power transportation’. Students had to design a vehicle that used renewable energies. ‘Horizon Fuel Cell Car Kits’ were awarded to the three winning entries.

Walney School

Used the funding to support a whole school approach to Tomorrows Engineers Week, all students (in form time) watched Engineering / STEM based possible future career videos and then undertook a quiz sheet developed by DT staff. Prizes were awarded to the classes that delivered the most detailed responses to the questions.

The event created a great deal of enthusiasm (and competitive rivalry) not only among the students but from teachers as well!

Without funding from the BEP we would not have been able to complete many of our remote learning lessons. We have been able to collaborate in a way we could not have without the webcams.

Mr Gary Birkett, Newbarns school

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