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Young engineers from North Lanarkshire school triumph in national engineering challenge final

The top five school teams from the season league table attended the IET Faraday Challenge Day National Final on Wednesday 29 June 2022 at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.

The teams were Berkhamsted Girls School from Hertfordshire, St Aidan’s High School from North Lanarkshire, Egglescliffe School & Sixth Form College from Stockton-on-Tees, Fulford School from York and St Edmund’s Catholic School from Portsmouth.

This year’s challenge was in association with the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM) and tasked teams to design a prototype that could be used in a children’s hospital to make a stay in hospital more comfortable for young patients and their families, carers and friends.

The winning team designed a prototype munchie box to help patients choose what to eat whilst in hospital and to motivate those feeling reluctant to eat.

On winning, the team said: “It’s been a great experience, it’s an honour for Scotland to take part and have made final! Thank you for the experience.”

A total of 165 events took place across the UK to host the 2021-22 IET Faraday Challenge Days. Up to six teams of local school students competed at each event to find the best solution to the engineering-related challenge.

The final was judged by Michelle Richmond, Director of Membership and Professional Development at the IET, Julian Young, IET President, Paul Fenton, IHEEM President, Stephen Lowndes, Technical Director at CEF and Sue Brown, Associate Development Director at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

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.

Natalie Moat, IET Faraday Education Manager, said: “Students who took part in the Faraday Challenge Days this year have experienced working as an engineer through hands-on and practical engagement with real-life challenges relating to the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management.

The quality of the students’ work throughout has been fantastic and it was an extremely close final – I’d like to congratulate St Aidan’s High School on winning!

“There is a huge demand for new engineers and technicians and we’re confident that this challenge has helped to change young people’s perceptions of engineers and inspire the next generation. It’s given students an insight into the life of a real engineer, the variety a career in engineering can offer and just how exciting and creative engineering really is.”

Paul Fenton MBE, IHEEM President and Faraday Challenge Judge said: “On behalf of IHEEM I would like to add our sincere congratulations to the worthy winners St Aidan’s High School and to say well done to the other schools and teams who took part not just in the final but across all the challenge days. 

I know everyone from IHEEM Council and Head Office who have been involved in this year’s programme has found the whole experience very rewarding. 

“Personally, I have been both encouraged and inspired by the innovation shown by all the students who have taken part and was honoured to be one of the judges at the final.  IHEEM is committed to encouraging the next generation of healthcare engineers and efm leaders and this programme has undoubtedly provided students with a greater understanding of the healthcare engineering sector and the key role that all of our members, at all levels, can have in improving the experience that patients have during their time in hospital.   

Finally, I would also like to thank the Faraday team at IET and the leaders who attended the challenge days and I hope that our partnership goes on beyond the conclusion of this year’s programme.”

Sue Brown, Associate Development Director at Alder Hey added: “It has been an absolute privilege to be part of this national event, judging the five finalists from 167 school entries. The young people and the engineering prototypes they produced have blown me away with their innovation, engineering and enthusiasm.

They have really captured the real essence and spirit of Alder Hey and the approach we take to creating unique experiences for our children and families.”

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

Notes to Editor

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