Afternoon tea and marble machine bring out pupils’ competitive instincts in design and technology contest at Hellesdon High School

Students work on their vehicles for the inter schools engineering challenge at Hellesdon High School

Students work on their vehicles for the inter schools engineering challenge at Hellesdon High School. Alfie Harrell, 15, left, and Tousif Chowdhury, 15, of Hellesdon High School. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The perfect afternoon tea and a marble-shooting machine with perfect aim were the unlikely twin aims of a design and technology competition that pitted teams from five high schools against each other.

Students, Tallulah Self, 14, right, and Mollie Smith, 15, with their baking during the inter schools

Students, Tallulah Self, 14, right, and Mollie Smith, 15, with their baking during the inter schools food challenge at Hellesdon High School. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

Groups from Taverham, Sprowston, Hethersett and Alderman Peel High School joined those from host Hellesdon for the contest.

Students work on their vehicles for the inter schools engineering challenge at Hellesdon High School

Students work on their vehicles for the inter schools engineering challenge at Hellesdon High School. Jack Leggett, 14, and Chris Turnbull, 14, from Sprowston High School. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

One challenge was inspired by the Great British Bake Off, with students preparing and serving an impeccable afternoon tea.

Judges of the inter schools food challenge at Hellesdon High School, from left, Debra Griffiths, cha

Judges of the inter schools food challenge at Hellesdon High School, from left, Debra Griffiths, chair of governors; Christine Barber, head of food and textiles at Hellesdon High school; Alison Finch, Sprowston High. School technician for food and textiles; Sue Campling, teacher at Alderman Peel High School; and Helen Ebery, Hethersett Academy cover supervisor. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The other set students the task of designing a vehicle that could trundle along a 2.5m track before firing a marble through a hole in a target.

The students knew the challenges, and the materials they would have, ahead of the day, and then had two hours to make their plans a reality.


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Paul Duncan, director of technology at Hellesdon High School, said: 'The aim of the event was to enable a lot of schools to compete against each other. It's an opportunity to build challenge into children's work and it enables teachers to talk and share best practice.

'Often in technology teaching there is not the competition element, certainly between schools, that really motivates students.'

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He added: 'The students all clearly enjoyed it and took their vehicles back to their schools. Whether they won or not, they were looking forward to going back to their schools and showing the students what they made. They were really enthused about it. They were really proud.'

A team from Hellesdon High School won the food technology competition, while one from Taverham won the engineering event, while Hellesdon won overall.

The event was sponsored by Ridgeons builders merchants, and Scira offshore energy.

Is there enough competition between schools? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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