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Young engineers take part in eco-building challenge

Ralph Lockey (left) and Harry Canning put the finishing touches to their team's design at Ripon Grammar School's Building for the Future challenge

Ralph Lockey (left) and Harry Canning put the finishing touches to their team's design at Ripon Grammar School's Building for the Future challenge

Students have been building on their technology and engineering expertise in a challenge designed to take their thinking into the future.

The whole 120-strong second year at Ripon Grammar School was involved in the annual project, which tests a whole range of skills as students come up with designs for an eco classroom block.

Head of engineering Mike Barker, who developed and runs the Building for the Future challenge, said: “As well as having to design, market and create a model building, the challenge literally builds on the students’ skills for the future as well.

“It’s all about extra curricular benefits such as developing their teamworking, communication, time management, negotiation, presentation and other life-skills.”

The year group was divided into teams. The students had first to apply for their chosen role in their team then received feedback from careers staff on their applications.

They then had access to various school resources and subject teachers in IT, maths, science, design and technology, art and engineering to develop their models, which had to incorporate sustainable energy features, and design a marketing poster.

The challenge concluded with representatives from each team giving a four-minute presentation to a panel of judges including guests Prof Jim Castle, of Glasgow Caledonian University, and Anthony Henson, of SDP Architects.

Prof Castle, a chartered building surveyor for 30 years, said: “I attended the school’s careers evening earlier this year and was very impressed so was happy to be part in this excellent challenge. The students have come up with some very novel ideas.”

One of those was Ted Wainwright, 13, who designed an inverted roof to catch rainfall.

Fellow team member Millie Simenacz, 12, said: “It didn’t take us long to come up with our ideas. We worked well as a team.”

Of her team’s design Emily Wilson, 13, explained: “We incorporated lots of ways to produce energy including wind and solar, and we used willow for the timber as it’s local and sustainable.”

Prizes were awarded for eco-awareness, the best marketing, best teamwork, the most cost-effective design, the best pitch and for the overall winning team.

 

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