Young engineers from four Shropshire Schools took on a building and budgeting challenge set by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, to design attractions for Thorpe Park.

Adcote School (team 6) won the event with a giant rotating pineapple ride and will go forwards to compete in further rounds of the national competition. 

The IET Faraday Challenge event, hosted in Adcote’s Sports Hall on Tuesday (26th Sept), saw 36 children in Year 8 come up with creative building solutions for the theme park.

They were instructed to allocate roles, such as project manager and accountant and spend their ‘Faraday money’ wisely, in order to plan their construction and purchase key equipment and parts from the IET shop.

The children, all aged 12-13, from The Corbet, Thomas Adams, Adcote and The Priory schools, clearly relished the challenge. Issy Bah, from Adcote School, was directing her team to build her ‘shark cage simulator’, as Hattie Marsh explained: “It’s as if sharks are breaking through the walls and water is coming in – when this sponge soaks the water, hopefully it will turn on the alarm. We’re also going to have it telling people to put their belts on!”

The rival Adcote team and ultimate winners of the event had designed a ride-in pineapple: “You sit in it and it takes you to a restaurant – we’ve put this spinning table in the middle of it,” explained Emma Stevens.

Teachers joined in too. Mark Walmsley, Acting Executive Head of Science at The Priory School in Shrewsbury was in the process of designing an electro-magnetic spider dropper ‘because we’re building in an environmental area,’ he said.

Each team had to deliver a seven-minute pitch to IET Challenge Leader Phil Hart.

He said: “It’s all about engineering and increasing enthusiasm. They’ve had great fun with electric motors, LEDs and pulley wheels, with some great results.”

The Adcote girls were each awarded a £10 Amazon voucher, a trophy for their school and their score was added to the league table. The top five teams at the end of the season will be invited to take part in the National Final next summer.

Last year, (2016/17), over 140 challenge events were held across the UK. Students were tasked with designing two prototypes using a BBC micro:bit that would improve the performance of the Land Rover BAR team in their bid to win the America’s Cup! 

The competition is designed to inspire students and raise the profile of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in schools.

For more information visit www.ietfaraday.org