2020 Clark Prize Winners: Gordon Taylor and Gavin Sharp

This year the ERA Foundation assessment panel has awarded the David Clark prize to Gavin Sharp and Gordon Taylor, two outstanding teachers.

The ERA is delighted to announce that years David Clark Prize will go to both Gordon Taylor from Walton Priory Middle School and Gavin Sharp from St Bede’s Primary School.

The prize recognises those that have gone beyond what is required in the teaching syllabus and have been able to demonstrate a strong track record of showcasing real-world engineering to students while inspiring them.

While the prize has always been open to those working in primary schools, secondary schools or colleges, this year the board decided to award the prize to both a primary and secondary school teacher.

Both Gordon and Gavin demonstrated an extraordinary vision for engineering and a high level of creativity in shaping their work with young people.

Gordon Taylor

Gordon has brought engineering to life in his classrooms at Walton Priory Middle School. Gordons’ 25 years of experience in secondary education follows on his career as an industrial engineer.

His passion and creativity have ensured that young people have been exposed to the very best engineering experiences and his field-trips have seen his pupils visit everywhere from factories, foundries, farms, production lines, logistics depots to Universities.

He has enthused pupils through competitions and challenges. With pupils achieving success in the Shell Bright Ideas Challenge, BP Ultimate STEM Challenge, OVO Energy Innovators Challenge, Youth Industrai Strategy Competition, Rotary Technology Tournament, Airbus Faraday Challenge and the Perkins Engines Tennis Ball Challenge.

Gavin Sharp

Gavin is the driving force behind an engineering revolution taking place at St. Bede’s Catholic Primary school in Rotherham.

Gavin personal mission has been to ensure every child at St. Bede’s has experienced a wide range of learning experiences to get them thinking like junior engineers and bolstering their problem-solving skills.

To do this he has built relationships and created opportunities within Rotherham’s multi-million-pound Advanced Manufacturing Park, created coding clubs, and worked with Discovery Education to create Family Coding Nights and Escape Rooms to get more young people thinking like Engineers.

Gavin works across the whole school to drive creativity and inspire young learners. In doing so he has given hundreds of voluntary hours to allow students to create web sites, video content, animations and podcasts. He has consistently shared his lesson ideas, creativity, and findings on his professional social media channels and the schools and has been recognized by Apple In as an ‘Apple Distinguished Educator’.

This year we received dozens of applications to the David Clark Prize. The selection process was particularly challenging as the calibre of entries across the board was extremely high and our panel found all to be genuinely inspirational.

We want to thank you who took the time to make an application, it is inspiring to see such dedication and hard work and we hope all candidates will continue their excellent work and consider applying again in the future.

Notes to Editors

The David Clark Prize is awarded every year by the ERA Foundation. Nominations are made through selected organisations involved in working with schools/colleges to promote engineering. These organisations will be asked to nominate appropriate individuals based on their network of contacts within schools.

The award will comprises a £2k personal award for the prize winner (i.e. with no restrictions on use) and a further £3k for the school to be used to further promote engineering within the school; it is envisaged that the prize winner will help determine how the funds should be spent.

The prize winner will also become a fellow of the ERA Foundation.

The assessment criteria will include:

  • The vision offered for engineering
  • Level of creativity shown  in shaping their work with young people
  • The success that the teacher has had with young people (both in terms of numbers reached and the difference this has made to them)