STUDENTS from across the district put their engineering skills to the test when they took part in a technology tournament this week.
Thirteen teams from schools and colleges – including Featherstone St Wilfrid’s High School, Featherstone Technology College, Knottingley High School, Pontefract King’s School and NEW College Pontefract – battled it out in the annual Rotary tournament at Featherstone Rovers’ stadium on Tuesday.
This year’s task was to create a coin sorter – for one, two, five and ten pieces – using four long pieces of wood, card, wire, glue and sticky tape.
Mark Lovett, assistant governor of the Rotary Joint Seven Group, which organised the event, said: “It was a very good day, I think it was the best day we’ve had so far and everything went smoothly. We found the creations which were the simplest in design worked the best and did the job every time.
“The whole challenge was a practical task. Schools have this problem where children sit down at a desk to learn but this way they are working together as a team and they can have new ideas about what they are going to be asked to do.”
Teams of four youngsters – aged between 13 and 18 – competed in three separate categories and had under five hours to plan, produce and demonstrate their creations to the judging panel of engineers.
Pontefract NEW College won a trophy and £50 for the college in the advanced category which was open to sixth formers and teachers.
The technology tournament is a national challenge, which has been run by the Joint Seven Group – made up of the seven rotary clubs in the district – for five years.
Mr Lovett added: “It could be civil engineering or electrical engineering but they will always have to work together as a team to plan and kick ideas around. It’s all about the practical side of things and getting their hands on apparatus to make sure it works.
“Engineering is an area that’s important for the continuation of success in our society and we need to stimulate interest in it.
“It’s often seen as the poor relation of science and all the kudos goes to scientists, when actually it’s the engineers who get it all up and running.”