Students from five secondary schools in Huntingdonshire put their creativity, teamwork and construction skills to the test when they competed in the Rotary Club’s 10th annual technology tournament at Kimbolton School last week (27 February 2019).

This year’s challenge, sponsored by Urban&Civic, was to design and build a crane with a moveable jib and an electrically driven cord that could lift a container from a fixed holder. The crane and cord, which had to be operated remotely to avoid contact with the (supposedly) hazardous material, had to be constructed from a kit of parts supplied by the Rotary Club, which included an electric motor, battery, lengths of wood, pulleys, rubber bands and various other materials.

As in previous years, the students had no prior knowledge of challenge and had to analyse the requirements at the start of the day and then work together to design and construct their machine within four hours. Each team then had to give the judges a demonstration, including a set of tasks depending on whether the team was competing in the foundation, intermediate or advanced category. As well as the performance of the machine when tested, the teams were assessed throughout the day on the way they tackled the project and how well they worked together.

Gloria Heywood, Rotary Assistant District Governor, said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the 10th annual Rotary technology tournament. I thought the buzz in the hall was super and the students were very creative and enthusiastic.  I am delighted that the Rotary Club is actively involved in the school community and able to deliver such a positive event each year. It takes a lot of planning and preparation but seeing the students working so well together and enjoying themselves is very rewarding.’

This year’s tournament attracted entries from five different secondary schools in Huntingdonshire - Abbey College, St Ivo School, Hinchingbrooke School, Kimbolton School and Ernulf Academy - with a total of 74 students aged 11-18years old competing in 19 teams.

The winning teams came from three different schools: foundation, intermediate and advanced categories were won by Ernulf Academy, Kimbolton School and Abbey College respectively. All of the students in the winning teams were presented with a winner’s certificate and the team received one of the engraved glass trophies donated by Urban& Civic.

Victoria Denny-Morley, Skills Lead for Urban&Civic, said: “Skills development, especially in the construction industry, is a core priority for Alconbury Weald and the wider Cambridgeshire area and it’s fantastic to be able to inspire students through innovative approaches like the Rotary Club’s technology tournament.  Supporting projects like this is vital, and it is important that the next generation know about the career opportunities on their doorstep – including over 8,000 jobs coming up at Alconbury Campus and tens of thousands of design, construction, engineering and skilled manufacturing roles across the area.

“The tournament was a great success and all of the teams worked hard to design and build their cranes.  There was a wide range of ingenious designs and solutions produced to fulfil the brief and feedback from the students and their teachers has been really positive.  The focus, creativity and energy displayed by all the teams was a credit to all the schools taking part.”

The winning teams were:
Foundation: Ernulf Academy - Patrick Hughes, James Ryan, Mark Emery
Intermediate: Kimbolton School - Alex Lamdin, Josh Rainford, Oliver Walker, Owen Gordon-Lawrence
Advanced: Abbey College - Tom Hodgson, Simon Pink, Taylor Hewitt, Sam Waters

Rotary of Huntingdon