The Rotary Technology Tournament is an annual event where competing schools from the region meet to solve an engineering puzzle. If you look on the table in the school’s entrance hall you’ll see a large collection of glass swards. It seems Fyling Hall have won every year. The pressure was on for our 2016 teams…
This year the competition was held at the Whitby Spa Pavilion and the task was to build a robot vehicle from scrap that would move up and down a pipe to remove debris. We entered two KS4 teams and two KS5 teams (our KS3 students were already taking part in the Eskdale Festival elsewhere in the building.)
It wasn’t easy: there was little in the way of instructions and no help. Our teams had to figure out how to make a wheeled vehicle, powered by a motor, which would somehow travel down the pipe and using some sort of scoop, push or pull the debris (bits of wood or stones) clear of the pipe and return to the start position. It really tested the students’ problem solving skills, drawing upon their ability to build, and use electronics.
The most impressive thing of the day was how every team worked as a team: everyone contributed to the ideas, planning and execution. The glorious results were that our A Level teams came first and third in the advanced category and one of our KS4 team came second. It’s likely our other KS4 team would have won had there not been a problem during their judged run. (A subsequent run showed their machine clearing the debris in record time).
I’d like to congratulate our teams for their ingenuity, teamwork and maturity during the day, as well as the organisers for giving us a really tough challenge to rise to. So we now have another bit of engraved glass to sit on the table.