Leighton Park student wins prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship

Posted on 21st Nov 2017 in School News, Science, Technology

Leighton Park’s credentials as a centre of excellence for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics gained a further boost with a Matthew Meade, a Lower Sixth student, winning a prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship.

Matthew told us: “I approached it with an open mind and thought I would give it my best shot and see how it goes. I didn’t think I would even make it past the interview, I was pretty nervous as it was very formal with 2 interviews. I was really surprised and really happy when I found out I’d got it. My parents were obviously delighted.”

Mark Smith, Matthew’s teacher and Head of Design Technology at Leighton Park Said: “This is the first time Leighton Park School has entered any students for this prestigious award, so for Matthew to be awarded an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship is hugely exciting. This recognition is well deserved; he is an exceptionally talented young man who has a very bright future in a STEM career.”

Arkwright Engineering Scholarships act as a beacon to the most talented STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) students in UK schools and help to ensure that high-potential young people stay engaged in the engineering careers pipeline, in the critical 16 to 18 age range.

Scholars are selected for their potential as future engineering leaders by assessing their academic, practical and leadership skills in STEM. These are gauged through a rigorous

selection process comprising: an assessed application form including a teacher’s reference; a two-hour, problem-solving aptitude exam; and a university-based interview. The Scholarships support students through their sixth form studies and encourage them into top universities or higher apprenticeships.

Nic Merridew, Director, Arup, who gave Matthew his prize, said: “Congratulations to all this year's new Arkwright Scholars. It was inspiring to meet so many talented young people and I was blown away by what they have achieved already. Doubtless there are many future leaders in engineering within these scholars. As we increasingly rely on automation and digital technology, we will need these scholars’ enthusiasm, innovation and engineering invention to meet the exciting challenges ahead.”

Dr Kevin P Stenson, Interim CEO of The Arkwright Scholarships Trust, and CEO of sister charity The Smallpeice Trust, said: “An impressive 1,594 students applied to be an Arkwright Engineering Scholar in 2017 and we are delighted to have been able to present a total of 425 students with invaluable scholarships. Each of this year’s scholars is incredibly talented and we hope that their Arkwright Engineering Scholarship will mark the first step in a long and successful career in engineering.

We are very grateful to the sponsors who recognise the potential in these talented students and choose to offer their support to help them develop their skills and fulfil their potential as future leaders in engineering. Each of the Scholars gains access to a fantastic range of enrichment experiences, including Conferences, Engineering Experience Days, Mentoring, Residential Courses, and University VIP days.”

The Scholarships consist of an annual financial award to each Scholar and to his/her school, and enrichment activities such as mentoring and industry visits that enhance a Scholar's experience of engineering in a real-world context. Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are highly regarded by university admission tutors and industry recruiters and are one of the most prestigious accolades that a talented sixth form student can receive.

The Scholarships are supported by more than 200 different sponsoring organisations: commercial and industrial companies, industry regulators, Government organisations, universities, Professional Institutions, Trade Associations, Training Boards, Livery Companies, all three Armed Services, Charitable Trusts, personal donors and Schools.

Photo shows Matthew with Mark Smith

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