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Young engineers from Winchester triumph in national engineering challenge final

18 July 2016


Students from Kings’ School in Winchester have won the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) national Faraday engineering challenge, securing £1,000 for their school.

After winning their IET Faraday Challenge Days previously in the year, five school teams from across the UK attended the IET Faraday Challenge Days National Final on Friday 15 July at the National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. Teams were from North Yorkshire, Hampshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Cumbria.

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 – the final five teams of 11-12 year olds, had to develop a 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.

The team from Kings’ School presented their NoNap hat. It was a device to prevent drivers falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle, preventing accidents and thus saving lives.

Gareth James, Head of Education 5-19 at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “This year’s IET Faraday season has been the largest ever with over 4,500 students taking part across the UK. The quality of the student’s work throughout has been fantastic and it was an extremely close final – I’d like to congratulate Kings’ School on their win!

“The digital world is evolving all the time – and with it, the demand for more young people with coding and digital skills. It’s therefore been great to see students learn about coding with the use of the BBC micro:bit in a very hands-on and practical environment, giving 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.”

The winning team from Kings’ School, Winchester, was made up of two girls and four boys.

Team member Lily Smith, said: “It was amazing just making it through to the finals at Bletchley Park. All the teams had worked so hard to be there. Winning was fantastic.”

Teacher Mr Skegg, added: “They did themselves and the school proud. It was a privilege to be with such capable and enthusiastic pupils.”

IET Faraday Challenge Days 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.

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.

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 IET Faraday Challenge Days, please visit: http://faraday.theiet.org/.