Pupils put to the technology test

Foundation winners: St. Augustines pupils, from left to right Ben Brayton, Joseph Hughes-Gooding, Tomas Lloyd and Robert Holt with District Governor Malcolm Baldwin.
Foundation winners: St. Augustines pupils, from left to right Ben Brayton, Joseph Hughes-Gooding, Tomas Lloyd and Robert Holt with District Governor Malcolm Baldwin.

Pupils from a Ribble Valley high school proved they have got what it takes when it comes to technology.

The students from St Augustine’s RC High School at Billington won the foundation section of the annual Rotary International/BAE Systems Technology Tournament.

A total of 144 pupils from 16 schools participated in the local Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley event, which took place at The Hollins Technology College, Accrington.

This year’s challenge was to design, build and demonstrate a “mole” to clear a blockage from a pipeline.

The three sections, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced, had different parameters to work with around the same basic problem, moving the blockage safely and retrieving their “mole”.

The children, and their teachers, enjoyed a great day, putting different ideas forward, using wire, wood, glue and screws and an electric motor, while developing team work skills, meeting deadlines and getting to know children from other schools.

The regional competitions take place, on the same day, in 10 venues across Lancashire and Cumbria. Competitions were staged in Carlisle, Workington, Barrow and Kendal, in Cumbria, and Lancaster, Preston, Lytham, Chorley, Accrington and Nelson in Lancashire. Around 80 schools, colleges and apprentice schemes are involved providing 340 teams of mixed gender students, four students per team, making a total of more than 1,200 students in this district alone.

Chief judge, Rotarian Don Fraser-Clark, commented on the high standard of entries this year on a very challenging project. Rotarian Fraser-Clark also thanked Hollins Technology College for, once again, hosting the event.

District Governor, Malcolm Baldwin presented a cheque for £250 to headteacher Steve Campbell in thanks for the use of the school.

Prizes were presented by District Governor Malcolm Baldwin from the Rotary Club of Accrington.

The event was organised by Rotary Clubs from Hyndburn, Blackburn and Ribble Valley with a large team of Rotarians stewarding and Judging.

The results were: Foundation section winners: St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington. Intermediate section winners: Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn. Advanced section winners: Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.