School students design boats for engineering prize
To inspire engineering amongst school children, UK research lab Qinetiq sponsored a recent design competition.
The Qinetiq School Powerboat Challenge provided pupils with an opportunity to understand the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“The Powerboat Challenge is a flagship event in our STEM programme and encapsulates our vision of inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. Youngsters get to meet role models, and become actively involved in an event where science and technology are key,” said organiser Chris Fisher, of Royal Institution of Naval Architects, which provided free junior membership to competitors.
13 teams of five pupils, aged between 13 and 16, from ten schools designed, built and raced their own model powerboats.
Each team was provided with a pack containing standard propulsion parts and designs briefs, and was supported by visits from Qinetiq naval architects during the design and build process.
The pupils balanced criteria including size, speed, weight and stability, whilst at the same time making the boat safe to operate, and provided it with a stylish livery.
Teams presented their designs to a panel of expert judges from QinetiQ and the wider marine industry, “adding an important learning aspect to their experience”, said Qinetiq.
The Smallpeice Trust also sponsored the event.