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Local schools reach national final of UK engineering challenge

01 July 2016


Students from Caedomon College, North Yorkshire, King's School, Hampshire, Framingham Earl High School, Norfolk, The Becket School, Nottinghamshire and Furness Academy, Cumbria have reached the national final of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s engineering competition for young people.

The five schools competed against teams from across the UK and will now take part in the IET Faraday Challenge Days National Final at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes on Friday 15 July.

One hundred and twenty-nine school and sponsored events took place across the UK to host 2015-16 IET Faraday Challenge Days. Up to six teams of local school students competed at each event to find the best solution to an engineering-related challenge based on the BBC micro:bit – the small, programmable tool designed to introduce those in year seven or the equivalent, to the world of coding and can be used to create anything from games and animations to apps and scrolling stories. A total of 4,572 students took part across the UK.

Gareth James, IET Head of Education, said: “This year’s IET Faraday season has seen students learn how to code and programme their own BBC micro:bit in a very hands-on  and practical environment. We really feel that this challenge has given them an insight into the life of a real engineer, the variety a career in engineering can offer and the central role it plays in our everyday lives.

“There is a huge demand for new engineers and technicians and we’re confident that this will challenge young people’s perceptions of engineers and inspire a new generation with digital technology. I wish the five schools lots of luck for the exciting final!”

In preparation for this event, the final five teams must develop one product for their BBC micro:bit in one of the four themes used on the Faraday Challenge Day (health, sport, travel or home and leisure). This product could build on their best ideas from the challenge day or could be a newly developed product. On the day of the final, each team will be asked to present their product at an exhibition hosted by the IET Faraday Code Crew. They will have 10 minutes for their pitch followed by questions from the Code Crew panel of judges who will be looking for creativity, innovation and bravery. The winning team will receive £1,000 for their school.

The events aim to encourage more young people to study and consider exciting and rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by using creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills.

The Faraday Challenge Days are part of a wider Faraday education programme, made up of a whole host of teaching resources and activities to inspire and attract the engineers of tomorrow.

Notes to editors:

For more information about the Faraday Challenge Days, visit: http://faraday.theiet.org/