The Manufacturing Institute

Schools take on nuclear challenge

15 October 2012

Teenagers from Notre Dame Catholic College, Liverpool, showed off their understanding of the nuclear industry and their creative talents for business at the Sellafield Ltd Capenhurst Make It Enterprising Challenge held in Ellesmere Port last week.

The event challenged 13 and 14 year-olds from ten other schools across Merseyside and Cheshire to design and build a 3D model prototype of Nuclear Environment Waste Transport Solutions (NEWTS), to transport and hold nuclear waste products, ready for recycling and re-use in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

Their challenge was to become manufacturing managers for the day and form a business to design, manufacture and utilise an innovative NEWTS system, fully cost the vehicle and transport system, design a Safety Indicator System to alert the users and controllers to any issues, as well as monitor the safety, security and transport status of the material in transit.

The teams established themselves as mini-manufacturing companies and after selecting their job roles – including managing director, operations, finance, sales and marketing managers - costed-out their ideas and developed their own sales, marketing and safety plans.

They then appeared in the ‘Dragons’ Den’ before the Sellafield Ltd Capenhurst team to present their ideas and answer questions in relation to their ‘pitch’.

The all-girl Notre Dame winning team impressed the Dragons with their business idea for a NEWT, which included a focus on improving the image of the nuclear sector to inspire a new generation of female manufacturers.

Second place was awarded to The Mosslands School, Wirral, who wowed the Dragons with a creative marketing campaign and their commitment to donating profits to charity.

The event was a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute and Sellafield Ltd Capenhurst, the company responsible for safely delivering nuclear waste management and reprocessing activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

It is part of a series of themed challenges which The Manufacturing Institute is supporting through its ‘Make It’ campaign, which aims to attract the brightest and best new talent into manufacturing by promoting the sector as an exciting and rewarding career option for young people.

Stephen Melia, Make It Events Co-ordinator, said: “Sectors such as the nuclear industry are reliant upon a highly-skilled workforce and this is only set to increase as we move towards a low carbon economy. We’re working with manufacturers like Sellafield Ltd to show young people the range of career options that advanced manufacturing presents and the opportunities that are available once they leave school.”

Sellafield Ltd Capenhurst head of site, Nick Welch, said:

“We have been delighted to support this event over the past few years as it allows us the opportunity to engage with the young people of the area who have an interest in design and manufacturing. We are keen to highlight this sector as an exciting area to work in, and this event is ideal as it targets students who may well consider joining our industry in the future.”

Both schools will now go through to Make It’s Grand Regional Final to be held in summer 2013.



Notes to editors

Participating schools in the challenge were:



The Belvedere Academy


Broadgreen International School


Christleton High School


The Fallibroome Academy


Helsby High School


The Mosslands School


Notre Dame Catholic College


The Oldershaw Academy


St Mary’s Catholic College


South Wirral High School


Whitby High School

Ellesmere Port


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