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Trust Funds Junior Engineering Challenge

Published: 04 May 2018   updated: 08 May 2018


Local primary schools are competing for a cash prize and the chance to meet the Red Arrows Engineers in a STEMworks initiative, funded by the RAF Charitable Trust.

The competition requires teams of two to design and build a vehicle that can travel five metres in a straight line. The teams can build their vehicle using their £100 'credit card' to buy materials such as batteries, wheels and rivets in the 'shop'. 

The competition guidelines state that the vehicle can be no higher than 10cm, no wider than 20cm, must be able to switch on and off and can use a maximum of two AA batteries. 

Twenty year five classes from the Cotswolds are participating in the competition. Pairs from each class race their vehicles against one another in order to decide the winning team from each school. 

Each winning team receives free tickets to the Air Tattoo, enabling them to compete in the grand final at the Techno Zone, where they will undertake a new challenge and present their design and 'costings' to the judging panel, composed of STEM representatives, Red Arrows Engineers and guest Apollo 15 astronaut, Al Worden.

STEM representative and competition facilitator, Mo Follis said: "You only have to watch the children to understand why STEM aims to inspire - it's just fantastic!"

A participating pupil from Fairford Primary School, said: "It's lots of hard work but if I could, I'd do it again!"

The Air Tattoo's Techno Zone is where the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are brought to life. Featuring cutting edge exhibits and interactive activities, the area is designed to engage and inspire future engineers.

Sandra Keen, the Air Tattoo's Junior Engineering Challenge Coordinator, said: "The benefit of this competition is that it delivers to schools, where the teacher may not be a subject specialist, a structured, curriculum-based technology activity.
"In order to pursue an engineering and aviation career, children need to be actively interested in the sciences before they make their GCSE choices. Hopefully the Techno Zone will fuel their passion and spark their imagination."

The competition final will take place in the Techno Zone at the Air Tattoo on Friday 13th July. 

“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, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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