Schools from Beddau, Newport and Merthyr Tydfil were among the winners at the latest annual University of South Wales Engineering Olympics.
This competition involves teams from schools and colleges across South Wales competing in three events: bridge building, a robo-rally and, the potentially very messy, egg launch. This year, eight schools and colleges took part in these challenges. Cracking the egg-launching task were Year 12 pupils from Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School in Beddau, who managed to fire their egg roughly three metres into the air and return it to earth (relatively) unscathed. “We went for a vertical launch system where you pass bands over some bearings, allowing for a piece of plywood to be launched carrying a payload which was actually a doggie treat box. It was really interesting and great fun. It was also great to see all of the facilities at the university, and our launcher was pretty good,” says pupil Joseph Holland.
Lliswerry High School in Newport proved to be the bridge-building heavyweights as the team’s triangular-designed structure carried a mighty 4.83 kilogrammes, while a team from The College Merthyr Tydfil motored to victory in the robo-rally, covering the course in a blistering 16 seconds. “It’s been a great experience. I’ve never done anything like this before,” says Hasan Mukhtar, one of the winning pupils from Lliswerry High School. “It’s shown me what engineering can do for me, the community and the entire world. It makes me think that I may want to become an engineer in the future. This has been tremendously important for the students because it’s the culmination of a month’s hard work, experimenting with different techniques and materials,” adds Hassan’s teacher, Mr Perry. “It’s been fantastic to see them problem-solving, overcoming issues and developing their skills and knowledge as a team.”
“The teams brought some wonderfully creative ideas with them to this year’s Engineering Olympics and the standard was very high,” says Associate Head of the School of Engineering at the University of South Wales,
Dr Akram Hammoudeh. “Events like this mean young people can see for themselves the broad range of engineering provision we have at the University of South Wales, from aerospace to electronic to mechanical to civil engineering. “We have the largest engineering provision in Wales, and with our top class facilities, including our new multi-million pound Centre of Automotive and Power Systems Engineering (CAPSE) building, we are able to offer our students excellent training and preparation for a wide range of careers in the industry.”