Fylde coast pupils put skills to test for £10k Young Engineers prize

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The results are in and one Fylde coast high school has been named The Gazette’s Young Engineers for 2018.

A team of students from St Bede’s RC High School picked up the £10,000 prize money for their efforts at Blackpool and The Fylde College’s  Advanced Technology Centre at Bispham.

The finals of the Young Engineers competition at Blackpool and the Fylde College. Winners St Bede's receive their prize from Matt Lambert of Cuadrilla.

The finals of the Young Engineers competition at Blackpool and the Fylde College. Winners St Bede's receive their prize from Matt Lambert of Cuadrilla.

St Bede’s were one of 10 school teams who qualified for the final of the sixth annual Young Engineers competition for pupils aged 13 to15, organised by the college and sponsored by Cuadrilla Resources and Centrica.

As in February’s qualifying competition, which involved an initial 17 teams, the schools were tasked with a challenge to design and construct an electromagnet crane and manoeuvre it from a fixed base to pick up numbered metal objects and successfully place them into a container.

Each object carried a number of point, with the school picking up the most points declared the winner.

During the morning workshop session, students demonstrated their science, technology, engineering and maths skills by designing and then building their machines.

The afternoon was devoted to the competition proper as the teams put their designs into operation, with two attempts each to complete the challenge, monitored by college staff.

Competition was fierce but the team from St Bede’s held off their rivals to claim the prize.

The other schools taking part were: Baines School, Fleetwood High School, Hodgson Academy, Millfield Science and Performing Arts College, Montgomery High School, St Aidan’s CE High

School, St George’s School, St Mary’s Catholic Academy and Unity Academy.

Head of design and technology at St Bede’s Andrew Shaw said: “I am delighted for the students – I couldn’t be more proud of them and all their hard work.

“Thank you to all concerned for staging this fantastic competition.”

The action was watched by VIPs including Blackpool North and Cleveleys  MP Paul Maynard, Mayor of Blackpool Ian Coleman, and Mayor and Mayoress of Fylde, Coun John and Geraldine Singleton.

Cuadrilla’s director of government and public affairs Matt Lambert said: “I am confident engineering has a fantastic future here on the Fylde coast and it is why we put up the prize fund to help youngsters’ skills flourish.”

Bev Robinson, Blackpool and The Fylde college principal, congratulated the schools and organisers for their efforts before Mr Lambert handed over the £10,000 cheque and trophies to the St Bede’s team.

All schools received framed awards and all pupils taking part received certificates.