Institution of Engineering and Technology Faraday Challenge 2020
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 Airbus in their mission to help those in a situation of natural disaster.
Our two teams got to work quickly, planning and outlining their idea, then started to build their prototype. Both ideas were excellent and included the use of circuits to help simulate the more complex elements of their props.
Team Two created a ‘care package’ which can be deployed in situations of natural disaster such as earthquakes or flooding. The idea behind their proposal was that the care package will be dropped from an Airbus plane in certain areas needing aid. They designed the care package so it had a parachute on top, to help it fall naturally to the ground and therefore preserving its content. The team also fitted this care package with an LED to simulate a light, to act as a visible stimulant and notify those in need where the care package had landed. This light was to be powered by a solar panel. When presenting, the group were asked how they would deal with the problem of the parachute falling on top of the solar panel and therefore making the solar panel redundant. The team explained that they would design a transparent material for the parachute which would enable light to still power the light – which was an excellent response.
Team One created a seat that would be installed in the Airbus planes to help those that have been injured/need medical attention. The seat included a motor that allowed the backrest to be fully adjustable, with the idea that they wanted the casualties to
have maximum comfort. Team One had their prototype running successfully and they spent their budget wisely. Their presentation was very strong and well thought out.
They handled the questions astutely and clearly outlined the role each person had in the group.
The scoring is based on a number of different elements. The winning team from Overton Grange School scored a total of 84 points out of 100. Cheam High's Team Two scored 72 points whilst Team One scored 76 points. This was an outstanding effort and both teams should be immensely proud of their achievement. Our students were excellent ambassadors for the school and did us proud.