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UTC Reading students crowned winners of two categories at Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2019

On Wednesday 27 March, students from UTC Reading took part in the annual Royal Navy engineering challenge, designing two vehicles that, working together, could rescue a damaged helicopter from a tropical island.

Two KS4 teams, named ‘Onshore Pirates’ and ‘Titanic 4’, won the prize for sustainability and Best Design!

The students headed to HMS Sultan near Portsmouth, competing against over 70 teams from schools and colleges all over the country.

This year’s challenge, dubbed ‘Downbird Recovery’, simulates the rescue of a stranded helicopter from a tropical beach during a humanitarian operation.  It requires the students to design and build a floating vessel and a remotely-operated land vehicle, to reach the helicopter and return it to safety.

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

UTC Reading KS4 team ‘Onshore Pirates’, said:

“It was a really fun, challenging experience. We had quite a few parts of our design break, but we kept going and persevered; I think that could have been why we won! We’ve been working on this project since September, and found out around December time that we had qualified. We’re really pleased to have won!”

The Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, The Rt Hon Lord Baker of Dorking said: “I’m delighted to see so many students from University Technical Colleges (UTCs) taking part in this year’s Royal Navy Engineering Challenge. Through this competition, the Royal Navy offer UTC students a unique experience and the opportunity to apply the technical knowledge and practical skills they learn every day at their UTC. The work the Royal Navy does to inspire young engineers has never been more important as this country’s need for talent and skills has never been greater."

The Navy’s head of training and lead STEM coordinator, Commodore Andy Cree, said: “Today marked another hugely enjoyable milestone in the Royal Navy’s annual challenge and my congratulations go to all those who completed it.  Our most complex challenge to date brought together elements of additive manufacture and robotics in real-world conditions and it was fascinating to see over 70 teams across 3 age groups competing to solve the same problem, with shared learning all round.”


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