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Faraday Challenge

Posted: 15/03/19

Faraday Challenge

Earlier this month, we took a group of Year 8 students to compete in one of many Faraday Challenge days, hosted by Overton Grange School. 

The Faraday Challenge was developed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Europe’s largest professional organisation in the field. Its aim is to introduce and promote the wonders of science, technology and engineering. The Faraday Challenge day offers students an opportunity to work in groups of six to design, create and promote the best solution to a given challenge. All challenges are genuine,
real-life engineering problems. Our two teams of six had to design a prop that would be of use to astronauts on the James Webb Space Telescope (WEBB). 

Both teams got to work quickly, firstly outlining an idea, planning it then started building a prototype. Both ideas were excellent and included the creation of circuits to help model the moving elements to their ideas. 

One of our teams came up with a ‘dust exterminator’ which astronauts must walk through before entering the telescope. The chamber has a fan attached to the top, which was put together using a circuit which included a motor to replicate the movement of a fan. Their prototype also included a pressure pad – which ensured that the fan would only turn on if someone was standing directly beneath it. Despite some technical difficulties, Team 1 persevered to create an impressive, fully functioning prototype. 

Our second team created a ‘debris catcher’ which aimed to catch potentially dangerous debris from the atmosphere, debris which could cause damage to the telescope. This prop included an extending arm which had a net-like attachment on the end. Motors were used to extend and retract the arm, as well as giving the attachment the ability to rotate, adding to its functionality. Again, despite technical difficulties, Team 2 managed to complete their prototype in the time given, even saving their foil from lunch to add to their materials – which was certainly resourceful!

All teams were then given time to plan a presentation to the rest of the teams. This was part of the scoring process so it was crucial the teams could explain their concept – as well as detailing how they might take it further if they had more time/resources. 

We are very proud to announce that Team 2 were the winners – by two points! They beat tough competition from the other teams in the competition to take home a trophy and a £10 Amazon voucher each. In addition to this, all members of
the winning team are invited to a celebration day in London later on this year. We are immensely proud of both teams – they conducted themselves in a superb manner and were great ambassadors for CHS. 

Congratulations to Team 2 – a well-deserved victory!