IET: Shropshire students crowned engineering winners

Students from Church Stretton School in Shropshire have been crowned the winners of a UK-wide engineering competition.

Their challenge was to design and manufacture a re-hydration station for athletes that served a fresh supply of water to race walkers completing long distance events. The students were taking part in the national final of the Faraday Challenge Days, a season of events run by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Also competing in the final were teams from Lomond School (Helensburgh, Scotland) and Ellesmere College (north Shropshire). Each team beat off competition from 240 other schools to reach the final.

Darren Clarkson, a teacher at Church Stretton School, said: “The Faraday Challenge was a fantastic opportunity for students to develop expertise through experience. They relished the chance to work in teams and test their engineering ingenuity. Seeing a project like this through from start to finish is a skill they rarely practice but one which will serve them well for school, careers and life in general. Some are now inspired to take up engineering studies in future.”

As well as designing and manufacturing their devices, each team presented to a panel of judges and produced a video diary.

The judges were joined by retired Olympic race walker, Chris Maddocks, the only male athlete to ever have competed in five consecutive Olympics. He also gave a short presentation on his Olympic career and the importance of adequate hydration and nutrients to the performance of athletes.

Dee Halil, IET Education Manager, said: “I’d like to congratulate the students from the three schools that competed in the final. Over 1,900 students took part in this year’s challenge, so they did amazingly well to make it to the final. The engineering solutions they presented have been fantastically creative.

“I hope that their experience in taking part in this challenge has given them a peek into the life of a real engineer, the variety of engineering out there and the central role it plays in our everyday lives.”

The winning team received a cash prize of £1,000 for their school. The second and third-placed teams received £500 and £250.


About the Faraday programme:
§ As part of reaching the final, each team was treated to an all-expenses paid trip to London, including a river Thames tour.

§ As part of the IET Faraday education programme, 55 Faraday Challenge Days have been hosted at schools and academic partner universities across the UK.

§ The IET Faraday Challenge Days has been granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme. The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

§ The IET Faraday Challenge Days are part of a wider IET Faraday education programme, made up of a whole host of teaching resources and activities to inspire and attract the engineers of tomorrow.

§ The events aim to encourage more young people to study and consider exciting and rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by encouraging creativity, innovation and problem solving skills.

§ Members of each team are 12 – 13 year old students studying Science, Design Technology and Maths.

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Notes to editors:
Additional quotes from the students and teachers are available.
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