Technology Tournament 2018

February 18, 2018

So here’s the thing: there’s been a bad accident. A train has overturned and a hazardous chemical container is lying on the track. A crane has to be manoeuvred along the track to recover it but to complicate matters it has to dip under a low bridge on its way in and again on its way back with said container. But that’s the least of the problems. The real crunch is that the crane’s lifting mechanism has to be remotely operated (motor provided). Oh, and there isn’t a crane. Well, not yet. There are lots of bits of wood and card, some wheels and gears, magnets, glue, string, drills, saws and suchlike. You have to design and make your own crane from the materials provided, the helpful hints you’re given and the expert advice of the judges.

That was the challenge facing 24 teams drawn from local schools at this year’s technology tournament. And how they worked at it. Teamwork was the name of the game, so the most successful had organised themselves into individual specialisms. There were thinkers, drillers, gluers, portfolio-writers, testers and they wrestled with the problems for close on four hours. Some achieved virtual perfection, the container rescued with aplomb. Other models were at an earlier stage of development, listing sharply and barely making it to the bridge. There were many in between. The variety of cranes was remarkable, each the product of much thought, discussion, assembly, trial and error.

The hall was a hive of focussed activity, young people grappling with a tough challenge and working out a whole raft of ingenious solutions. The Mayor was on hand to talk to the teams and present the prizes. There were judges, stewards, teachers, certificate scribes, registrars and first aiders  to make sure it all went well – which it did.  That was down to all the volunteers – drawn largely from local Rotary clubs – who gave their time, as well as to all the young people who worked so hard.

Thanks again to our own David Russell who masterminded the whole event with his customary expertise. 

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