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Junior Engineers Tackle Challenge

Published: 18 Jul 2015

No fewer than 20 teams of students from 18 primary schools around the Cotswolds have taken part in the first-ever Junior Engineering Challenge at the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford yesterday (Friday, 17 July). 

The Junior Engineering Challenge, organised by the RAF Charitable Trust in collaboration with STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) Works, asked the engineers of the future to design and build a vehicle to travel 5m in the fastest time, using a propeller or balloon as the means of propulsion. Each school enjoyed a half-day workshop, introducing students to the methods they might use, before selecting their team to compete at the Air Tattoo before the judging. 

The students - from Ashton Keynes, Avening, Bibury, Eastcombe, Fairford, Hatherop, Kemble, Kempsford, North Cerney, Powell's in Cirencester, Rodmarton, Sapperton, Siddington, Southrop, St Lawrence in Lechlade, St Mary's in Tetbury, Sherborne and Stow on the Wold schools - completed a second engineering challenge at the airshow before the judging was carried out by members of the Red Arrows engineering team, the Blues. 

Overall winners were Catherine and Chloe from Bibury CofE Primary School, who won £500 donated by the RAF Charitable Trust for their school. The K'nex Design Challenge honours, and £200 for the school, went to Otto and Elliott from Eastcombe Primary, and the Presentation Challenge prize, plus £200 for the school, to Aaron and Jaden from Powell's CofE Primary in Cirencester. 

The six winning pupils also received individual prizes of Corgi models of the Vulcan, presented by Hannah O'Toole, Hornby marketing executive.

Mo Follis, director of STEM Works, said: "Our passion is to excite young people about STEM, which is all about careers and opportunities. In the build-up to RIAT we engaged with 600 primary school children and holding our final competition at the show has been fantastic. We couldn't have asked for a better venue."

The winning team received a prize of £500, donated by the RAF Charitable Trust. 

Amanda Butcher, Director of the Trust, said "One of the objectives of the Trust is to encourage air-mindedness in young people, and part of that process is getting them to take an interest from an early age. We hope that as a result they will be inspired to study science and technology later in their education."

CAPTION: Catherine and Chloe from Bibury C of E Primary School, winners of the Junior Engineering Challenge at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show Iíve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

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