STUDENTS were aiming for the stars during a special contest to encourage the next generation of engineers and scientists. Secondary school pupils with an eye for design were challenged to build a model space capsule launcher as part of this year’s Rotary Technology Tournament. The competition, organised by the clubs of Bournemouth, Christchurch, Highcliffe and Ringwood, involved 146 teenagers from 12 schools and took place at Bournemouth Collegiate School on Thursday. (March 8) Sudents from Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 were given the task of designing and building a launcher, capable of firing a light ball some metres into the air which then had to be recovered by parachute. Rotary organising committee chairman Anne Green said: "All the young people were utterly engrossed in their projects, working together in teams and using logic, communication and technology to build brilliant working models." The constructions were built using a variety of materials including wood, elastic bands, card and fabric. Head judge David Marsh, of Westbourne Rotary Club, said: "This was a very positive day with a large number of teenagers engaged in solving engineering and design problems." The tournament, supported by BAE Systems of Christchurch and Wimborne engineering firm Marden Edwards, was aimed at students with an interest in engineering, design, technology and science careers. It was the fifth technology tournament organised by local Rotary clubs. Judges included former Bournemouth School student Dan Hopkins, who took part in the 2014 tournament, and who is now undergoing work experience with Marden Edwards. The winners of the advanced task (KS5) were a team from Ringwood School. Intermediate winners (KS4) were a team from Twynham School, while Team 2 from Ringwood School won the foundation category (KS3).
Article by Pete Burden Source: Bournemouth Echo