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HCC takes part in UK Engineering Challenge

Students from Holsworthy Community College took part in an IET Faraday Challenge Day (FCD) sponsored by Thorpe Park. The students became real-life engineers for the day when they researched, designed and built solutions to real engineering problems as part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Faraday Challenge Day on Wednesday 17th January.


169 events are taking place across the UK to host 2017-18 IET Faraday Challenge Days. Up to six teams of local school students will compete at each event to find the best solution to an engineering-related challenge. The events will be free of charge and set up by IET staff and volunteers.


This year’s challenge is in association with Thorpe Park Resort, but the brief for these young engineers is shrouded in secrecy to avoid unfair preparation and research. Teams must race against the clock to solve a real-life engineering problem, putting their engineering and technology knowledge and skills to the test.


Holly Margerison-Smith, IET Faraday Education Manager, said: “Students who take part in the Faraday Challenge Days this year will experience working as an engineer through hands-on and practical engagement with real-life challenges relating to Thorpe Park Resort. The Challenge Days will give them an insight into the life of a real engineer, the variety a career in engineering can offer and just how exciting and creative engineering is.


“There is huge demand for new engineers and technicians and we’re confident that this will challenge young peoples’ perceptions of engineers and inspire the next generation.”

Dawn Childs, Merlin Group Engineering Director, said: “Having developed my engineering career in several large organisations, it’s clear that there’s a growing skills gap in roles where education in STEM subjects are vital. I’m pleased to see that Merlin attractions led by Thorp Park Resort, is inspiring potential future engineers through The Institute of Engineering and Technology’s Faraday Challenge. Engineering can be creative, exciting, hands-on or office based; the diversity is amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing how the teams do and I hope this brings the best out of all those involved.”


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.


Each team member in the winning group was awarded a prize and a trophy for their school. The top five teams from across the UK will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the national final at Thorpe Park Resort in 2018 to compete for a cash prize of up to £1,000 for their school.


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.


For more information on the IET and its initiatives to promote STEM subjects and careers in the classroom, visit the dedicated websites for secondary and primary schools.


“It was an absolutely brilliant day. Plymouth University looked amazing, from what I saw. The challenge was more difficult than it looked, but it was exciting and we worked well together as a team. We managed to complete the challenge and I believe we came second. It was a long, tiring day, but well worth it. It makes me more optimistic about a career in engineering; something I will now consider that I might not have done before the Challenge Day.” Rae Weblin