The team from St. Andrew’s Prep School were triumphant in the 25th annual Young Engineers Challenge.
The competition was organised by Eastbourne Education Business Partnership on behalf of the Eastbourne Engineering Club.
The challenge explored tunnels and tunnelling from moles and badgers to the work of Brunel and the more recent technologies used in Crossrail and similar projects.
Dave Cooper, Chartered Engineer and Chairman of the Engineering Club, gave a short presentation to set the scene before the nine teams of Year 6 and Year 7 pupils embarked on the construction of two identical tunnel sections that had to be joined to provide a smooth passage within and resistant to crushing from above.
Working to an engineering drawing for each section and using a variety of materials, the teams had to work accurately and consistently.
Good teamwork was essential to ensure eventual success. There could be no initial crush testing for their tunnel.
Everyone experienced a range of important engineering, problem solving and team working skills.
All teams completed their tunnel that was then crush tested by loading with sand. All survived to 3.5kg with varying degrees of collapse thereafter - just two teams achieve the maximum loading of 7.2kg.
The teams were judged on their build quality against the challenge specification, innovation, teamwork and final testing.
Engineers from Wright Flow Technologies Ltd and Alfa Laval Pumps Ltd helped to plan the challenge, provided sponsorship and assisted on the day.
HMD Kontro Seal/less Pumps Ltd and Southern Water provided additional sponsorship and support.
Eastbourne Borough Council and JWD Enterprises organised tables and Bede’s Prep once again provided the venue and.
The Worshipful the Mayor, Cllr Pat Hearn, kindly attended to present the prizes to the winners.
“Our annual challenge helps to put some real engineering lessons in context for the pupils. It encourages teamwork and helps them to develop their practical skills whilst having fun. Once again, we are grateful to our sponsors for their generous support”, commented Dr Steven Goss-Turner, Chairman of Eastbourne EBP.
St. Andrew’s Prep received the Young Engineers Challenge Trophy and individual prizes. The runners up were Willingdon Community School and St Thomas a Becket RC Junior School. All participants received a special certificate in recognition of their achievement.
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