The College Product Design department has for many years participated in a number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) competitions and award schemes. On the 22nd November, Mount Kelly hosted, for the first time, the Institution of Engineering and Technology Faraday Challenge, aimed specifically at Year 8 pupils across the country. The purpose of the Faraday Challenge is to encourage pupils of all years to consider a career in a STEM-related subject.
The pupils had a fantastic, hands-on, practical problem-solving day, organised by Dr. Keira Sewell, the IET Faraday Challenge co-ordinator. Following an exciting introduction to the technology and teamwork behind Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover-BAR sponsored racing catamaran, often described as a ‘fighter jet on water’, the pupils learnt how the team uses dagger boards to lift the catamaran clear of the water for speed, and wings instead of sails.
Working in teams of six, Year 8 pupils had to come up with a number of possible warning device ideas, before completing two software design tasks, creating ‘micro-bit’ programmes using coding. The micro bit processor controlled and converted various inputs into a variety of outputs that could be used as warning devices for the crew on Ben Ainslie's Americas Cup catamaran. After completing their two designs, they then presented their prototypes to their peers and Dr. Sewell, and also fielded tough questioning about their designs, which at times were as challenging as those seen on Dragons Den!
Congratulations to the overall winners, Toby Berryman, Thomas Birchell, Archie Burton, Tyler Knight, Jasper Oursin and Joseph Rizk for their outstanding teamwork, creativity, solutions and final presentation. They received a CNC cut, glass crystal prism shaped trophy, and a £10 Amazon gift voucher each. All the Year 8 pupils also received a prestigious IET Faraday certificate in recognition of their participation and contributions to their first STEM focussed challenge at the College.
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