Young engineers scoop top prizes in Toyota Technology Challenge

31 May 2011 #SMMT News

Two teams of young engineers are the pride of their schools after winning the top prizes in the 2011 Toyota Technology Challenge.

The victorious pupils, from Beechwood Park School, Hertfordshire, and Flint High School, North Wales, were among eleven UK schools at the national final of the competition, which Toyota have developed in partnership with Rapid Electronics.

Teams competed in two categories – Solar Power and PIC microcontroller – at Toyota’s Manufacturing plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire. During the course of the day the teams presented their project and vehicle to a panel of judges. Marks were also given for team identity. The climax for most competitors was the moment they set their creations loose on the Challenge racetrack – a straight race for teams in the Solar Power category, or guiding their vehicle around obstacles for teams in the PIC microcontroller category.

The PIC category was won by ‘Lucky Duckies’ from Flint High School, North Wales. The team members were Emma Meredith, Ryan Colclough, Jessica Cunnington and Luke Roberts, all 14 years old. Runners up in the PIC category were ACE from Marling School and EPIC Environmental from Friends School.

‘Hot Fuel’ from Beechwood Park School triumphed in the Solar category. The team consisted of Tom Abrey, George Poole, Charlie Ford (all 13) and Max Holben (12). This was Beechwood Park’s third successive winning year at the Challenge, after the school won the PIC category in 2009 and 2010. Runners up in the Solar category were ‘Solar Rocket Penguins’ from Test Valley School and ‘Techno-Shock’ from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.

The judges included representatives from Toyota and Rapid. Nick Freeman, Senior Manager, External Affairs, Toyota Manufacturing UK, said: “The quality of work that we see at the national final is outstanding. The attention to detail, pride and determination that the students have in their vehicles are a joy to watch”. His comments were echoed by Chris Calver, education manager at Rapid: “Congratulations to Flint High School and Beechwood Park. The 2011 final has been one of the best since the competition began in 2002. The level of design innovation and the passion these students have for engineering is incredible and they are a credit to their schools.”

Over 14,000 pupils from across the UK took part in this year’s competition. The winning teams were rewarded with a trophy, £1,000 in prize money for their school and an action-packed adventure holiday in Spain.

Click through to see how UK automotive companies are supporting the Automotive Council’s See Inside Manufacturing‘ programme.

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