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Trust awards pupils for 'egg'cellent engineering challenge

Published: 03 Feb 2017

Inspiring the next generation of engineers, the RAF Charitable Trust has presented two talented youngsters with this year's Junior Engineer Challenge Award.

North Cerney CofE Primary Academy pupils, Olivia Goodwin and Lucy Dennis, both aged 11, have been presented with a trophy and £500 for the school after successfully completing the problem solving engineering challenge, funded by the Trust in collaboration with STEMworks.

Twenty primary schools from around the Cotswolds took part in the project, which saw pupils put their engineering skills to the test and complete an Air Drop Challenge. Pupils were split into pairs and given the task of designing and building a carrier to transport and deliver an egg safely, without it breaking when dropped from a height, mirroring the process of delivering humanitarian aid.

Each school received a half-day workshop, introducing students to the methods they might use, before selecting their team to compete at the Royal International Air Tattoo where there inventions were judged by members of the Red Arrows' engineering team, the Blues. 

Jane Burr, Principal at North Cerney CofE Primary Academy, said: "This project is a fantastic way for us to get involved in more STEM related activities. STEMworks is a really important way for pupils to develop their skills and obtain a practical knowledge of the sciences.  

"The pupils really enjoyed taking part in the challenge, especially getting the opportunity to attend the Air Tattoo, and I'd like to thank the Trust for supporting such a unique experience. We are going to use the prize money in a way that benefits the whole school and helps raise the profile of science by taking the children on a day trip to the Science Festival in Cheltenham. Any remaining funds will be spent on equipment for the school, including some new K'Nex, to help encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-based learning."

In addition to the AirDrop Challenge, pupils were also judged on the presentation of their idea and were given a design challenge to be completed on the day. The winners of the Junior Engineer Presentation Award were Toby Lee and Theo Cinnamond from St Lawrence CofE Primary School, and the Junior Engineer Design Award went to Megan O'Brien and Libby Henesy from Sherbourne CofE Primary School. 

Trust Director Justine Morton said: "Firstly I'd like to congratulate all of the pupils on their achievement - it looks like we have some aspiring engineers on our hands! 

"Encouraging aviation-related education is one of the main objectives of the Trust and STEM forms a huge part of this. These projects make a huge difference about the way pupils view engineering and the career opportunities it can provide, and we hope that by taking part they have been inspired to continue their studies in science and technology-based fields."

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