Tech teams take on Rotary challenge task

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A hundred students from nine secondary schools took part in the 18th Annual Rotary Technology Tournament at St Aidan’s High School earlier this month.

Working in teams of four in three age categories, pupils were challenged to build a working model vehicle which had to rescue a container from a derailed railway wagon.

The teams were supplied with basic materials including card, wood, wheels, pulleys, wood, electric motors and rubber bands. The task was kept secret until the day of the tournament and its difficulty and complexity increased with the age of the students.

Rotarian David Russell, the Tournament Coordinator said: commented “The aim of the Tournament is to develop personal skills in a fun way and to encourage design and development using innovation, team working, communication, problem solving, decision making and creativity while, working to a tight schedule to achieve the end result of a final working machine.

“There was much evidence of all these things on the day and the teams were marked on all of them. We hope that the students got a taste of science and engineering in a project situation with time deadlines and left with a feeling of achievement.”

Tthe teams got their chance to show off what they have achieved to their peers and to the panel of Rotarian judges. A pair of teachers from Harrogate High School also took the challenge and constructed their own model which worked.

The winners in each category were:

11-14 years, Key Stage 3 - 1st, Ripon Grammar School; 2. St Aidan’s High School Team A; 3. Ashville College.

14-16 years, Key Stage 4 - 1. Ashville College; 2. Harrogate High School; 3. Rossett School.

16-18 years, Key Stage 5: - 1. St Aidan’s High School; 2. Harrogate Grammar; 3. Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate Team A.

Each team also had to keep an illustrated record of their methodology and these portfolios were also judge for their intrinsic merit.

Best Portfolio: Key Stage 3, Ripon Grammar School; Key Stage 4, Nidderdale High School; Key Stage 5, Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate Team A.

Prizes were awarded by Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Anne Jones and Jake Durham from Claro Precision Engineering Ltd, one of the sponsors. Other sponsos were GSM Group Ltd, Promax Access Ltd and Comms Design Ltd.

Participating were Ashville College, Harrogate Grammar, Harrogate High, Nidderdale High, Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, Ripon Grammar , Rossett, St,Aidan’s and St John Fisher High School.