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UTC Reading teams compete in the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge!

UTC Reading students put their engineering and teamwork skills to the test in a live scenario after successfully qualifying to take part in the Royal Navy Engineering challenge.

Teams from across the UK were given a command brief to design an unmanned, powered, remotely operated system, capable of clearing objects from the sea bed. After submitting design reports showing their proposed solution, one KS4 and two KS5 teams from UTC Reading were successful in being selected for the competition finals on Wednesday 21 March 2018.

The teams from UTC Reading headed down to Whale Island in Portsmouth where they spent the night sleeping on-board a decommissioned warship HMS Bristol. The following morning, they met youngsters from across the UK at HMS Sultan, Gosport in order to compete the challenge to mark the Year of Engineering 2018.

Held in partnership with University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and affiliated employers, schools, Babcock and BAE Systems, the Challenge aimed to inspire young people to engage further with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

This year’s Challenge was affiliated with the aircraft carrier HMS PRINCE OF WALES, sister ship to HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, the Royal Navy’s newest and largest-ever warship.

With the event falling in the Year of Engineering, the event gave everyone involved the chance to demonstrate how organisations across the engineering industry, such as the Royal Navy, Babcock and BAE Systems are encouraging young people into STEM careers.

Outside of competition itself, the youngsters were given the opportunity to enjoy several STEM-related displays and activities including tours of the Establishment’s facilities such as helicopters, gas turbines and diesel engines.

The team members competing from UTC Reading:

The HMS Lanius (KS4) – Harvie Hartrup, Gregor MacLeod, Josh Holloway, Oliver Thornley, Thomas Aherne, Jacob Crewe-Read

FIWT (KS5) – Caitlin Sutherland, Anthony Birch, Kieran Banks, George Hindmarsh

Tempest (KS5) – Harvey Bishop, Sophie Denson, Josh Mabbs, Frances Dresser

This year, team HMS Lanius finished in third place in the KS4 age range but all teams performed fantastically throughout.

UTC Reading Principal, Jonathan Nicholls said: “I am really proud of the grit and determination shown by the UTC Reading teams during the Royal Navy Challenge. The creativity and innovation that was displayed through their solutions was fantastic and they work extremely hard outside of their lessons to ensure their vehicles were ready for the competition. They all had an excellent time staying on the warship and whilst they were disappointed not to win an award this year, they all returned having had an experience that they will remember forever. Another great competition organised by the Royal Navy and we are extremely proud to be an affiliate UTC.”

Lewis Hutchinson, Teaching, Learning and STEM Coordinator at UTC Reading said: “Every year I am impressed and proud of the dedication, hard work and effort our students bring to this competition. This is a fantastic experience that will stay with our students for their entire lives. The Royal Navy work tirelessly to put on an event that all non UTC students should look upon with envy.”

Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Woodcock OBE, Second Sea Lord said: “This annual engineering challenge which grows from strength to strength each year offers an invaluable opportunity for the Royal Navy to inspire the engineers of the future whilst at the same time encouraging innovation and showcasing the variety of roles and opportunities that exist for those wishing to pursue a career in engineering.”

“UTCs offer the opportunity for young people to gain the academic and technical qualifications that are valued by the Royal Navy and other industry partners and this annual challenge provides an excellent example of the practical application of the theoretical learning they have received in the classroom.”


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