On Thursday 27 April two teams of pupils from Cirencester Deer Park School took part in the 2017 Rotary Technology Tournament held in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) Block at Cirencester College.
The Year 10 pupils in each team had been especially chosen because of their interest in engineering, design, technology and science. Their challenge in this tournament was to design and build a solution to an unseen technical task within a specific time frame, using only limited materials supplied. The teams needed to have good communication skills, be well organised and be able to show the stages of development of their task solution in a design portfolio.
Our pupils' Intermediate task was to build a structurally sound and fully functional cantilever bridge for a model tallship to pass underneath and to construct a bridge platform strong enough to support a one 1kg weight where a model barge could fit underneath.
Team ‘Not Yet’
Tom, Sam, Arthur and Joe
Team 'Bad Boy Bridgers’
Ollie, Alfie, Phillip and Will
photographs courtesy of Cirencester College
Our pupils found their Intermediate activity challenging and very enjoyable. One of the pupils commented "It was hard at first getting our ideas down on paper and thinking about how we could make the bridge cantilever at the same time." It was lovely to hear the pupils discussing their challenge with other Year 10 pupils at lunch time. Both groups were very competitive and looked at what the College's Engineering students were doing for their Advanced Challenge to see if they could glean any ideas! They really enjoyed the opportunity to see and work in the College’s new STEM building and to work alongside Engineering students from the College.
Both teams achieved the set challenge and each solution as a working model was competitively tested and assessed by a team of judges, with the ‘Bad Boys Bridgers’ judged to be the Intermediate category winners.
The pupils were buzzing when they got back into school saying why their team were the best or why their team should have won. When asked if they would be interested in taking part in another challenge, they all said they would!
An interest in how things work and problem solving skills will help if you want to design, test and build tomorrow’s technology. 'Engineering is important. It is also challenging and exciting. Engineers use models provided by science combined with innovative thinking to solve problems and create new designs that benefit humanity.’ Cambridge University Engineering Department. The I Want To Study Engineering website has some interesting challenges and you can find out about a wide variety of manufacturing and engineering careers on the National Careers Service website.