Ribblesdale pupils triumph in earthquake rescue challenge

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BUDDING young engineers from Ribblesdale High School Technology College came out on top in a Lancashire-wide “Make It in Manufacturing” challenge. at an exciting event held last week.

Teams of 13 and 14-year-old boys and girls from a dozen high schools across the area were given the challenge to establish their own mini-manufacturing businesses and make a product to help earthquake victims.

Each team had to design, cost, build and market imaginative “WAFFER (Water, Food, Fuel, Equipment and Resources) systems, containing equipment vital to support the public in the event of a city earthquake.

The team from Clitheroe’s Ribblesdale High School was awarded the winners’ trophy on the day, impressing the a panel of industry “Dragons” with their rescue container design. The judges praised the team’s use of robust and cost-effective raw materials and their use of environmentally-friendly solar panels as part of their design.

Held at The Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Clayton-le-Moors, the free event was a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute and Simonstone-based precision engineering company Fort Vale – a world leader in the manufacture of valves and other fittings that enable the secure transportation of materials across the globe.

The event was part of a series of themed challenges which The Manufacturing Institute is supporting through their ‘Make It’ campaign,aiming to attract the brightest and best new talent into manufacturing by promoting the sector as an exciting and rewarding career option for young people.

Andrew Bryce, Director for Innovation at Fort Vale, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many young people take an interest in engineering. We were very impressed by the teams who all put in a great deal of effort and showcased some imaginative ideas.

“This is the first time Fort Vale has been involved in an event like this and the day was brilliant. We brought down our own apprentices to help the pupils and they really enjoyed it too.

“We believe that young people are the future of the industry and hope that we have inspired some of them to come and join us when they leave school.”

The team from Ribblesdale, and the runners-up from St Bede’s Roman Catholic High School in Blackburn now go through to Make It’s Grand Regional Final to be held in the summer.