Budding engineers unearthed at tournament

Students at Downham technology tournament: Pictures submitted.

Students at Downham technology tournament: Pictures submitted. - Credit: Archant

Future bridge-builders picked up some tips at the annual Downham Market Rotary technology tournament.

Held in the town hall, 60 students took part from Downham Academy, Terrington St Clement's High, Iceni Academy and Witchford Village College, near Ely.

The aim of the day was to challenge students' creative skills in a 'fun way' to better their understanding of design, technology and simple engineering.

Stuart Dimmock, press officer for Downham Rotary, said: 'This year's task was to construct a working model of a bridge that is to be built across the entrance to a busy port: one section of the bridge to be permanent, but high enough to allow barges to pass underneath; the second section to have a lifting bridge to allow tall ships to enter the port.

'Students were supplied with card, dowels, pulleys and string and, working in teams of four, they had three hours to design, construct and test their models. At the end of the allotted time every group had produced a working model that performed according to the prescribed standard.'

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The tournament was sponsored by Downham Market Development Ltd and supported by RAF Marham.

Prizes were awarded for each age range and the judges congratulated the students on their hard work and the high quality of the models produced by the teams.

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Presenting the prizes, John Beer, chief executive officer of Downham Market Development, said: 'Helping young people to learn new technologies and providing them with educational and employment opportunities is central to what Market Development's Centre for Advanced Knowledge Engineering is going to deliver, so we are delighted to sponsor this event.'

Medals for runners-up and winners at the foundation level were awarded to two teams from Witchford Village College.

At the Intermediate level two teams from Downham Academy scooped the runners-up and winners' medals and Downham Academy also won the overall prize for the best working model. The five judges were Mr Beer, Lee Forbes, Wing Commander Andy Fell, Joe Whitmore and Doctor Rob James.

How are you working with students to improve their technical skills? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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