BUDDING young manufacturers across East Lancashire came to the rescue of victims of natural disasters, war zones and other troubles when they competed in the BAE Systems Make it Enterprising Challenge.

The event challenged 13- and 14-year-olds to set up their own mini-manufacturing businesses and design, cost, build and market a prototype Unmanned Support Vehicle (USV) to respond to emergencies ranging from earthquakes and floods to police and fire department incidents.

Teams built their prototypes and completed a series of tasks, each taking on job roles from managing director to operations managers through to finance, sales and marketing managers. Teams were also tasked with developing a brand for their company before pitching their ideas in a Dragons’ Den-style presentation to BAE Systems managers, who played the role of members of the Joint Emergency Committee — a fictional United Nations-style body responsible for responding to humanitarian and military emergencies. The event was a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute and BAE Systems at Samlesbury.

Taking part were Blackburn Central High School with Crosshill, Blackburn, Pleckgate High School, Clitheroe, Ribblesdale High School Technology College, Clitheroe, Southlands High School, Chorley, and St Bede’s Roman Catholic High School, Blackburn.