Sun shines for inter-school solar competition at Hellesdon High

Children from Horsford, Kingsale, Arden Grove and Heather Avenue infant schools racing solar powered

Children from Horsford, Kingsale, Arden Grove and Heather Avenue infant schools racing solar powered boats to introduce them to engineering during their visit to Hellesdon High School.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Young renewable engineers of the future were inspired to make their own solar powered boats yesterday at an inter-schools competition.

Sixteen Year 2 pupils from local infant schools took part in the first technology event at Hellesdon High School.

The sun was shining for the solar-themed competition as students from cluster schools Horsford, Kinsale, Heather Avenue and Arden Grove infant schools made their own craft to race to the end of a two and a half metre water trough.

The event aimed to get the six-year-olds interested in technology and get them familiar with the secondary school they will eventually go on to.

Paul Duncan, director of technology at Hellesdon High School, said the competition provided an extended learning opportunity for gifted and talented students, based on a design and make challenge.


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Four children from each school took part and created their vessel using moulded clay, foam, or bottles, which were powered by the solar panels.

'It has been absolutely brilliant, the children really enjoyed it and we will do it every year now.'

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'The aim is to give students the opportunity to problem solve and compete on a local level in order to build challenge and enterprise into their work. It also gave the teachers an opportunity to discuss recent experiences and thoughts on design and technology, in order to share innovative ways of teaching the subject,' he said.

Year eight technology students from Hellesdon High opened the event with a presentation on the importance of reducing harmful emissions released into the atmosphere.

The winners with their wind propelled boat, manufactured using a clay mould and vacuum formed plastic hull were Mia Simpson and Lewin Razzell from Horsford Infant school.

Horsford Infant school also took the overall school winners trophy as both teams produced the fastest overall speed.

'All contestants received a trophy for taking part and were filled with enthusiasm to go back to their friends and students to show off their boat and trophy project,' added Mr Duncan.

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