Young inventor Ruth Amos has thrown her support behind Newcastle’s new Discovery School, urging students to grab every career opportunity that comes their way.
The 23-year-old businesswoman said she hoped the unique facility would go some way to closing the engineering skills gap in the region and would show students what a fascinating and exciting career engineering could be.
Discovery School will open in September 2014. Working in close partnership with businesses, it will offer students aged between 14 and 19 a curriculum based around engineering and IT underpinned by the STEM subjects, along with practical and industry-experience.
Ruth, who developed the revolutionary StairSteady handrail to assist people up and down the stairs as part of her GCSE Technology project when she was just 16, said: “The great thing about Discovery School is that everyone there will be working towards the same goal.
“I went to a technology specialist school, which I guess is the closest thing you could get to Discovery School, but it didn’t have engineering and technology running through every vein, like Discovery School will.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity to show that engineering and the STEM subjects are not geeky or just for boys. It will be a great place to learn if everyone is passionate about STEM and the art of creating things.”
The invention of StairSteady led Ruth, from Sheffield, to be named the UK’s Young Engineer of the Year in 2006.
She went on to secure financial backing for her product, has since sold hundreds of StairSteady devices and is hopeful of new contracts overseas.
Ruth has also set up a raft of other companies and is always on the lookout for young engineers with vision and passion.
She said: “I believe very strongly that we are the average of the five people we each spend the most time with, so if the people closest to us are innovative, passionate and hard working, then we will be like that, too.
“That is why Discovery School has the power to do really great things. Students will be surrounded by passion and enthusiasm and they will have a real understanding of what the industry is looking for.
“Discovery School will give students a head start.”
Discovery School will be holding open evenings for parents and prospective students every Wednesday between 6pm and 7pm from October 30.
These will take place in the Discovery Room, on Palace Street, Newcastle, close to where Discovery School is currently being built.