Press release

Local schools reach final of national UK engineering challenge

29 June 2017

Students from London, Cornwall, Bromsgrove and Suffolk have reached the national final of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s engineering competition for young people.

The finalists will come from Hammersmith Academy (London); Helston Community College (Cornwall); Alvechurch Middle School (Bromsgrove); City of London School and the Samuel Ward Academy (Suffolk). 

The five schools beat competition from across the UK to compete in the IET Faraday Challenge Days National Final on 12 July at the Land Rover BAR base in Portsmouth. Land Rover BAR is the British America’s Cup team led by 4-times Olympic gold medalist, Sir Ben Ainslie. The IET has partnered with the team’s official charity, the 1851 Trust, which promotes STEM education for young people.  For this season’s challenge, teams were asked to develop two prototypes using a BBC micro:bit computer, to improve the performance of the Land Rover BAR sailing team.

The final five teams will put their engineering and technology knowledge to the test by racing against the clock to solve a real-life engineering challenge faced by Land Rover BAR during training as part of the IET’s partnership with the 1851 Trust and their unique online resource for teachers; BT STEM Crew.

This will be a celebration of the achievements of all the winning teams and an opportunity for students to showcase their products and share ideas. The brief for these young engineers will be an extension of the challenge they faced in the heats. The aim of this challenge was to introduce students to cutting edge technology which engineers are, and will be using in the future.

David Lakin, IET Education Manager, said: “Students who have taken part in the Faraday Challenge Days this year have experienced working as an engineer through hands-on and practical engagement with real-life challenges in the hope that this will give 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 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. It’s been fantastic working with the Land Rover BAR team, the 1851 Trust and BT STEM Crew on this and I wish all five schools lots of luck in the exciting Final.”

Ben Cartledge, CEO of the 1851 Trust commented “The 1851 Trust aims to inspire young people to pursue science, technology and engineering through education and into exciting jobs and careers. The IET Faraday Challenge is a great opportunity for young people to experience first-hand what engineering is and I am delighted that, this year, they had the opportunity to work on real challenges faced by the Land Rover BAR team. We are really excited to host the Final here at the home of Land Rover BAR and see the innovations the students have developed.”

One-hundred and forty school and sponsored events took place across the UK to host the 2016-17 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. A total of 4,710 students took part across the UK.

The winning team will receive a cash prize of £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.


Notes to editors:

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. To find out more information, please visit the IET Faraday website.