On Wednesday 27 March, students from UTC Swindon took part in the annual Royal Navy engineering challenge, designing two vehicles that, working together, could rescue a damaged helicopter from a tropical island.
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.
The UTC Swindon teams competing were:
Year 11 team, ‘The Extracting Compass’ – Josh Clarkson, Connor Browne, Malachi Willis, Harry Povey, Antony Moran
Year 10 team, ‘Geo-Aqua’ – Josh Lee, George Mitchell-Clake, Harrison Varley, Oliver Jimenez-Williams
Year 10 team, ‘RN ROCK’ – Ethan Martin, Keegan Dias, Romeo Seferi, Miles Grove-Walsh, Aden D’Souza
Held in partnership with Eaton Ltd, BAE Systems and Babcock, the challenge encourages young people to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.
Jon Oliver, Principal at UTC Swindon, said, “The Royal Navy Challenge is an excellent opportunity for students to further develop their STEM skills, along with key employability qualities such as leadership, innovation and teamwork. This is the largest number of teams we have entered and all our students applied themselves fantastically against strong opposition. We did extremely well to qualify for the final round.”
The Navy’s head of training, Commodore Andy Cree, said: “This realistic challenge presents young people with a rare opportunity to put their STEM studies into practice in a complex physical environment. The students will learn teamwork and systems thinking, which will serve them well wherever their careers take them.”