Schools show the ‘need for speed’

Posted on 06 Aug 2019 and read 525 times
Schools show the ‘need for speed’ An East Staffordshire school showcased its engineering excellence last month, when it won the main prize at the Manufacturing Assembly Network’s (MAN) Design & Make Challenge (, which was hosted by the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Warwick Manufacturing Group.

John Taylor High School beat off the challenge of eight other schools from around the UK to take the title for its hand-built vehicle, which ran the length of the test track in the fastest time.

More than 40 A-level students took part in the competition, which was funded by nine local SMEs and designed to inspire young people to consider a career in engineering.

The students were given kits containing doweling, plywood, duct tape, axles and wheels; they had to sketch out concepts before turning their designs into reality and coming up with a vehicle that could travel down a monorail.

A testing area was set up to encourage them to put their ideas through their paces before submitting their final prototype.

Austin Owens, founder of Herefordshire-based Grove Design, said: “As manufacturers, we can’t just sit back and continually reflect on the lack of skills or the number of engineers coming through.

"There is no better way of inspiring young people to consider a career in our sector than showing them first-hand what we do and how we do it, then getting them to put their own ideas into action.

The competition gets really intense, and there was a massive buzz in the room when the vehicles came to perform.

“Last year’s Design & Make Challenge involved seven teams, this time there were eleven, and we are hoping that next year’s will be even bigger.

“One of the major issues we face is recruitment; we need that to change, with manufacturers and educators working more collaboratively to increase awareness.”

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