An educational Ardagh trip for design students

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Product design students from Castleford Academy have been learning about innovative glass design during a visit to Ardagh Group.

The 15 GCSE students were given an insight into the structural processes behind the design of glass bottles and jars.

The visit was organised by Jon Gardham, key stage 4 leader of design technology at the academy.

The teenagers, who are about to begin their own light design project, saw the different stages of taking a new design through to the finished bottle, which Mr Gardham hopes will inspire them to incorporate glass into their work.

The students were hosted by Ardagh project engineer and energy officer Aston Fuller, who talked about the company’s European operations and explained how the properties of glass make it sustainable and 100 per cent recyclable.

Chris Barker, product design engineer, talked to the students about the importance of pushing the boundaries of design while Sharon Todd, head of marketing for Ardagh’s European glass operations, talked about how Ardagh’s customers encourage them to be part of the design innovation process. The students were then taken on a tour of the factory.

Mr Fuller said: “We are very keen to showcase our operation to people in the local community, and particularly local schools, whose pupils should be aware not only of the contribution we make to the local economy, but of potential career opportunities.”

Ardagh employs 250 people at its Headlands plant in Knottingley, and produces green and amber bottles primarily for the beer, spirits and wine industries.