Over 1,400 students from around 100 schools in Lancashire and Cumbria enter the Rotary Technology Tournament at ten regional venues which has been sponsored for the past few years BAE Systems. Our regional tournament is held at Hollins Lane College Accrington and our club is involved with the organisation.
From Preston to Carlisle, over 350 teams of students, as well as many teacher teams, spend the best part of a day tackling the ‘design and build’ task for the year. Last year this was to produce a flashing beacon and this year to produce a crane to pick up and transport a chemical container. Each team is given an identical set of materials with which to work. Having considered a number of designs to satisfy the written criteria, the teams then set about building and demonstrating their model to a panel of judges.
There was a real buzz from the outset at each of the regional centres, with noise levels increasing as the deadline for completing the task approached. The judges then test the models and select the winners and runners up in each of three categories – foundation, intermediate and advanced – depending on the school year of the students concerned. Teacher teams are also entered.
In their selection, the judges consider the use of time and resources, team organisation and management, design analysis, design development, and then the skills, use of materials and final testing of the solution.