On the 21st February 2018, Leicester Rotary organised a Technology Tournament, kindly hosted by the Leicester Grammar School, Great Glen. There were 10 schools taking part, 10 from across the County, and from one just across the border, in Lincolnshire. There were 140 students, across key stage 3,4, and 5, and 12 teachers taking part in an unseen challenge, which involved engineering, technical, and design skills. The teams were composed of 4 students and there were three different levels of complexity at each key stage. This is a highly regarded competition,it sits at the heart of STEM subjects, is awarded Crest accreditation by the British Science Association, and is particularly challenging, but has fun at the heart of it.
The task required the teams, using materials provided, to build a launch platform, and send a capsule (a golf training ball) 3 metres into the air. At the simplest level, the capsule was required to land in a designated circular area. At the next level the teams had to bring the capsule down by parachute. At the most difficult level the teams had to send the capsule skywards in a vehicle (a cup) which had to separate from the capsule at a metre from launch. The capsule,launch vehicle and parachute had to land within the designated circle.
These tasks, that were set by Rotary, put the participants’ STEM skills to the fore, involving teamwork and testing their ability in planning, design, ingenuity and innovation, along with manual and presentation skills. Competitors can apply for a Crest Certificate from the British Science Association.