Young engineers show their designs are wheelie good in West Cumbrian contest
By Jenny Barwise
Budding engineers put on their thinking caps as part of a creative technology contest.
Yesterday saw the 11th annual Rotary Technology Tournament take place, organised by Workington Rotary club.
Five teams from West Cumbrian schools were provided with equipment including plastic guttering, batteries and elastic bands, along with a task sheet, then given five hours to create a masterpiece.
Peter Sacre, the rotary club's youth services chairman, said: "The teams of four have all the things they need on the table – equipment and a task sheet – and some helpful ideas they they have to sit down and think about what they're going to do."
After they completed the challenge, they were invited up team-by-team to give a demonstration to the judges as well as the competing teams.
"I was surprised how quiet it was," added Mr Sacre. "They were all hard at it and studiously addressed the task."
The pupils were assessed for their planning, design analysis, design development and realisation of the plans.
The schools which took part were Maryport's Netherhall; Keswick School, Cockermouth School, St Benedicts in Whitehaven and St Josephs at Workington.
Teams competed in three different levels, based on their age and ability.
Foundation level teams, up the age of 14, had to design a vehicle - a mole - to move forward. Intermediate competitors, doing GCSEs, had to design a similar vehicle with the power to push debris out of a tunnel.
Miniature vehicles made by advanced teams, made up of sixth formers, had to be able to move forward and backward and pick up items.
The event was sponsored by a number of irganisations including Shepley Engineers, Workington Town Council, Iggesund and Sellafield Ltd.
The mayors of Workington and Allerdale attended the event, which took place at Hunday Manor in Workington.
The key stage five winners were Keswick School's Ben Holmes, Harriet Dobson, Tom Hind and Luke Birkett, with Cockermouth School's Tabea Weustink, Megan Robertson, Tom Simmons and Adam Kendall as runners up.
Key stage four winners were Sam Holmes, Joshua Prescott, David Scott and Joel Smeaton of Keswick School, with Leia Reid, Joseph McSheffrey, Aaron Groggings and Kelsey Devlin of St Benedict's School in Whitehaven in second.
The winning key stage two team was Tolson Carruthers, Liam Parker, Leon Minchella and Joseph Byrom of Netherhall School, Maryport, while Aaron Pritt, Callum Robinson, Jack Smith and Emily Carruthers of St Joseph's School in Workington were runners up.
The best portfolio title went to Keswick's key stage five team, with Cockermouth's key stage four team of Mia Penrice, Caitlin Cawthorn, Sam Erlston and Ben Thornley-Ellis taking the best model title.