Students from Lenzie Academy in Glasgow have won the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Faraday Challenge.
The finals of the engineering competition were held at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh and challenged teams with designing a prototype that could safely move a new telescope once operational at its home in French Guiana.
The winning team designed a prototype vehicle which swept obstacles out of the way as the telescope moved. Rotating blades would cut encroaching vegetation and pressure sensors would alert the telescope operative to heavier obstacles.
The competition was held in association with James Webb Space Telescope and judged by industry professionals from IET, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre.
The events aim to encourage more young people to study and consider exciting and rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by using creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills.
It’s given students an insight into the life of a real engineer, the variety a career in engineering can offer and just how exciting and creative engineering really is.
– Natalie Clarke, IET education manager
Five teams made it to the final including Bolsover School from Derbyshire, Castle Court School from Dorset, St Benedict’s Catholic College from Essex and Holy Family Catholic High School from North Yorkshire.
A total of 189 regional Faraday Challenge days took place across the UK to find the finalists of the 2018-19 competition.
Natalie Clerke, IET Faraday education manager, said: “Students who took part in the Faraday Challenge Days this year have experienced working as an engineer through hands-on and practical engagement with real-life challenges relating to the James Webb Space Telescope.
“There is huge demand for new engineers and technicians and we’re confident that this challenge has helped to change young people’s perceptions of engineers and inspire the next generation. It’s given students an insight into the life of a real engineer, the variety a career in engineering can offer and just how exciting and creative engineering really is.”