Schools from Milton Keynes take on stratospheric task at rotary technology tournament

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Resourceful youngsters had just their ingenuity and a box of materials to use when they took on the role of engineers in this year’s national Rotary Technology Tournament.

The event, which was sponsored by Aston Martin Works, saw 25 teams from Milton Keynes secondary schools gather at host venue Denbigh School. Here, they were tasked with building a launcher capable of sending a weather satellite into the stratosphere.

After a full day of planning, construction and testing, the teams demonstrated the effectiveness of their devices to a panel of judges from The Open University, Network Rail and the Rotary Club.

The competition assessed the teams on their use of resources, analysis of a problem, presentation of ideas, construction skills and the demonstration of their launcher.

Denbigh School’s youngest team of students won first place in the Foundation age group, with the team congratulated for “thinking outside of the box”.

St Paul’s School won the Intermediate age group and Radcliffe came first in the Advanced category.

Certificates were presented to all participants, with the winning teams also receiving a trophy and a cheque for £200.

Denbigh School headteacher, Andy Squires, said: “The thought-provoking and problem-solving task challenged the students to use their organisational, analytical and creative skills in a previously unseen task. It was impressive that the students who attended took part in the challenge with such enthusiasm.

“The Denbigh students who participated in the Foundation age group deserved their win and got the extra treat of sitting in an Aston Martin. Denbigh School has been delighted to host the Rotary Technology Tournament for over 20 years.”