THE engineers of the future are celebrating after winning a massive cash boost for their school.
Pupils from Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre put their creative heads together to design and build balloon-powered buggies in The Gazette’s Young Engineers STEM Skills Challenge.
The vehicles were put to the test in a thrilling final race at Blackpool and The Fylde College.
And the pressure was on, as the winning team won a whopping £10,000 from the event’s sponsors, Cuadrilla.
Youngsters from AKS, Kirkham Grammar, Millfield, Unity, Highfield and St George’s schools got to work early on Friday, putting the wheels in motion to create the best air-powered buggy the Bispham college’s sports hall had seen.
Watched by dignitaries including the mayors of all three Fylde boroughs, the race was a tense one for pupils from each school.
But the worthy winner in the end was Team 2 from Millfield School in Thornton.
Pupil Taylor Cash, 13 from Thornton, said: “We were quite nervous because it’s a lot of money if anything goes wrong.
“It was a good day, we all really enjoyed it.”
Headteacher Sean Bullen said a meeting would be held to decide how to spend the cash.
He added: “I am incredibly proud of the students of Team Millfield.
“Our scientists have shone like diamonds, creating technological magic.
“It’s not often we get given £10,000, it’s fantastic.”
The challenge, also supported by Blackpool and The Fylde College, encouraged pupils to apply their knowledge of the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths
Runners up in the competition was Team 2 from AKS, in Lytham, which received £2,000 from Cuadrilla.
Physics teacher David Roberts said: “It’s been fantastic, the children have loved it.
“They learned their lessons from the heats and redesigned their car and came around at the last minute to get it right.”
Team 1 at Kirkham Grammar School was awarded £100 for Best Creative Director and Team, and Unity College’s Team 2 was presented with £100 for Best Marketing Director and Team.
Presenting the awards, Cuadrilla’s health and safety director, Leon Jennings, said: “I have been completely amazed all day by what I have seen going around.
“Whatever you choose to do, and whatever career path you choose to take up, I hope it’s in engineering.
“You are all going to do exceptionally well.”
Gazette editor Jon Rhodes added: “What the STEM Skills Challenge has proved beyond any doubt is that the future of technology and engineering is bright in this part of the world.”