A team of young aviators are celebrating a soaraway success which landed their school a £10,000 prize after a thrilling challenge at Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Advanced Technology Centre at Bispham.
Lytham were one of ten school teams who qualified for the final of the fifth annual Young Engineers competition – organised by The Gazette and College and sponsored by Cuadrilla Resources and Centrica for pupils, aged 13-15.
As in the qualifying competition held in February, which involved an initial 18 teams, the schools were tasked with a ‘blind’ fun challenge – to design, build and then fly a propeller-driven aircraft from a boxful of materials including balsa wood, rubber bands, glue and blu-tack. However to make the final even tougher – the teams were asked to build not one but two flying machines.
During the morning workshop session students demonstrated their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic) skills by preparing designs that showed scientific knowledge of symmetry, balace and elevation, without any teacher assistance, before taking their designs from the drawing board and building their machines.
The afternoon was devoted to flying their aircraft – taking careful aim on an scoreboard set up as an ‘oil rig’ landing strip inside the ATC, watched by rival schools, while College staff measured the machines effectiveness, for distance and accuracy.
There were some dream flights as well as disasters but Lytham’s cumulative score after three rounds of flights saw them narrowly beat last year’s winners Fleetwood High School, followed in descending order, by South Shore Academy, Carr Hill |High, Baines, St Bede#s, Rossall, Hodgson Academy, Montgomery and Unity Academy.
The fun action was watched by VIPs including Blackpool North and Thornton Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, Blackpool. Deputy Mayor of Blackpool Gary Coleman and Mayoress Ms Joan Goldin and Wyre Mayor Coun Terry Lees.
College Executive Director of Commercial Development Daryl Platt congratulated the schools and organisers for a great day before Cuadrilla’s Director of Government and Public Affairs Matt Lambert handed over the £10,000 winners cheque and trophies to the Lytham St Annes High team. All schools received framed awards and all pupils taking part received certificates.