The Leaf: Issue 3 July 2021 – Our Sustainable Partnership With SailGP And How To Build A Mini Motorboat

July saw a spectacular new sporting event take place in Plymouth; we were proud to sponsor the SailGP Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, a forward-thinking, carbon positive sporting event. This partnership fits seamlessly with our commitment to sustainability.

The Leaf Corporate Sustainability Blog logo July 2021


As part of our path to net zero, we're always looking to form meaningful partnerships with like-minded organisations and events; those with purposeful and forward-thinking objectives that put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

Read more topics at Wiser about Sustainability







What is SailGP?

SailGP is an exciting new global championship, with a belief in the power of sport for good and championing a world Powered by Nature. Eight national teams battle it out to win at iconic waterfront cities, racing identical, supercharged F50 catamarans that fly at speeds approaching 100 km/h.SailGP F50 Boats Racing High Speed

Why Did We Sponsor The Great Britian Sail Grand Prix?

SailGP believes in their purpose of better sport, better planet. The culture of high performance and delivering exciting sporting action across the globe never compromises their sustainability efforts, as SailGP offsets more carbon than its footprint.

At Drayton by Schneider Electric, we are proud to share in these values, with a commitment to produce high performance heating controls, and doing better business for a more sustainable future.

Drayton is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2025 by evolving our practices, as well as working closely with our suppliers, retailers and installers to lessen our environmental impact at every point in our supply chain.

This sponsorship also provided us with the opportunity for our STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassadors to engage with local school children in a fun-filled STEMfest, an annual event by Plymouth City Council and the SailGP Inspire program, in the run-up to the Great Britain Grand Prix.

What's happening at Drayton - Corporate Sustainability BlogSTEMfest 2021 – Drayton by Schneider Electric Supports STEM Education In Plymouth

On 15th-16th July, as part of our sponsorship of the Great Britain Grand Prix, Drayton’s team of STEM ambassadors hosted a unique learning event for around 300 local schoolchildren at Tinside Lido along with other major event partners. By providing a range of materials – including hulls made from plastic and water bottles recycled from our factory – students were encouraged to use their reasoning to build and test mini motorboat designs in our purpose-built pool, with a fun team race at the end of each session.children STEM activityThe Plymouth students showed great teamwork in coming up with their designs, constructing them together and working out how to improve speed and stability. We saw a fantastic range of designs, building methods, and decorative features!

children STEM activity - how to make a motor boat design 1children STEM activity - how to make a motor boat design 2children STEM activity - how to make a motor boat design 4

Drayton by Schneider Electric are proud to be able to support our local communities and help address the STEM skills gap that exists in Plymouth, by working with children in a critical age range to help them develop an interest in STEM careers and just maybe become the sustainability champions of tomorrow.

Wiser Drayton Corporate Sustainability Blog - Our staff spotlight

Paul Pady Drayton sustainability hero

Paul Pady

“We were delighted to host the STEMfest event at Tinside Lido to support the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth, and had the opportunity to work with local school children to engage with them on a fun STEM activity. We hope this will spark an interest for the children in these subjects at school and potentially lead to a career in STEM.”

– Paul Pady, Manufacturing Engineering Manager and STEMfest Team Leader, Drayton by Schneider Electric

As Manufacturing Engineering Manager at Drayton, Paul also chairs the Plymouth Manufacturers Group and often hosts students on placement and on work experience at our Plymouth factory. He has a passion for helping students with an interest in STEM realise their ambitions and help them gain experience, skills and employability, giving them a leg-up as they start their careers.

This experience meant Paul was expertly placed to lead the STEMfest project and coordinate the organisation of the STEM activity; from building the frame for the pool, overseeing testing of different boat-building methods, to getting stuck in at the event itself. Drayton would like to thank Paul and the STEM ambassador team for all their support in putting on such a fantastic event.

Going live from Tinside Lido, Paul told BBC Radio Devon: “[Children] don’t really know what it’s like to work in a manufacturing or engineering environment, so you’ve really got to get out there at an early stage prior to the children starting their careers and give them an insight into what’s out there and what the opportunities are.”

Listen to Paul Pady's full interview with BBC Radio Devon

Drayton STEM and sustainability ambassador team

Some of the STEM ambassador team at STEMfest 2021 hosted at Tinside Lido, Plymouth. Left to right: Paul Pady (Manufacturing Engfineering Manager and STEMfest Team Leader), Aleksandra Raczynska (Senior Technician), John Mylan (year in industry student - Mechanical Engineering Department), Philip Sambles (Principal Technical Expert), Henry Chator (summer student intern, Manufacturing Engineering Department)



How To Build A Mini Motorboat – A STEM Activity For Kids

Need ideas for summer holiday kids’ activities? Try out our boat-building task from STEMfest 2021:

1. Choose a hull

Plastic bottles, trays and tubs are buoyant and a great way to reuse plastic waste, or try pieces of wood.

How to make a mini motorboat - choose a hull

2. Attach a motor

Attach a waterproof battery-powered propeller like those pictured (available from online retailers) using string, elastic bands, waterproof tape, or even make a mount like ours to make it easy to clip and unclip the motor.

How to make a mini motorboat - attach a battery-powered propeller

3. Attach the mast

(Optional) If attaching a sail, a wooden block with a drilled hole makes a great mount for wooden dowel masts.

Children's STEM activity - How to make a mini motorboat - attach mast

4. Attach the sail

(Optional) Card, laminated paper or recycled plastic sheets can all make great sails. Think about size, shape and positioning and test them out.

Children's STEM activity - How to make a mini motorboat - attach sail

5. Decorate

(Optional) Want to add a little creative flair? Give your vessel a name, decorate the sail, let your imagination run free!

children STEM activity - how to make a motor boat design 1children STEM activity - how to make a motor boat design 2children STEM activity - how to make a motor boat design 4

6. Test your design

Try it out in the bath, a sink or a paddling pool. Is it balanced? Could it be improved with different positioning of the motor and sail?

Children's STEM activity - How to make a mini motorboat - test your design

7. Show us!

We’d love to see your boats, simply upload on social media and tag us @DraytonHome.Children's STEM activity - How to make a mini motorboat - share with us

Wiser Drayton Corporate Sustainability Blog - Dates Awareness Days for your diaryWant to see what sustainability-related awareness days are coming up? Check list below and see how you can get involved. And when you do, why not tag us in your social posts and you could be featured in a future edition of The Leaf! Follow @DraytonHome on Facebook and Instagram.

Cycle to Work Day - 5th August

Cycle to Work Day is organised by Love to Ride. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t cycled in years or have never cycled at all, Love to Ride is encouragiung everyone to give it a go, and it might just help our environments.

Visit the Love to Ride online community or the Cycle to Work Day website to find out more, with prize draws and weekly cycling challenges.


National Allotments Week - 9th-15th August

Allotments have many benefits. They bring people together and unite them through their shared love of low-cost, healthy, fresh and sustainable fruit and vegetables, with other benefits including physical exercise and social interaction.

As they add to the wellbeing of local communities, you and your neighbours can therefore nominate your allotment to be put on a list of Assets of Community Value by your Local Authority. National Allotments week aims to raise awareness of how to benefit from and protect your community allotments.

Read more topics at Wiser about SustainabilityThe Leaf - Drayton Sustainability Blog - Meredith Price

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