The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Faraday Challenge is an annual competition of STEM activity days with a real-world challenge for pupils aged 12-13 years. The Bay CE School had the pleasure of hosting a challenge day on Friday 11th March 2022.
Three schools participated in the challenge day – Christ The King College, Ryde School and the hosts, The Bay CE School. Each school was entitled to enter two teams of six Year 8 students. Christ The King opted to enter a single team, therefore, five teams competed. The day started with teams being briefed on the 2022 challenge by the challenge leaders. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the competition, details of the challenge cannot be shared in this report as challenge days are still ongoing in other schools. After the briefing, teams were afforded time to identify the problems and generate initial ideas. This was followed by the teams deciding on the roles they needed to maximise the team effort. Each team was required to have a project manager and an accountant, at the very least.
To ensure teams were comfortable with the equipment and resources available, they were asked to complete a short engineering apprenticeship. This entailed building a couple of series and parallel circuits and explaining how these worked to the challenge leaders. Once equipment competency was established, teams could now purchase resources from the shop. Each team was allocated a budget of 120 Faradays. Expenditure had to be justified and documented meticulously and budget overruns were strictly forbidden. Therefore, teams had to decide on final product designs before purchasing resources. The product design session tested the communication, resilience, problem-solving and negotiation skills of the students. Once the product design was agreed on and resources were purchased, teams brought their designs to life and tested them. Progress was documented in the event log. Modifications were made to original designs and documented. As the teams grew confident in their designs and final products, they began jotting down ideas for the stakeholders presentation.
Finally, teams presented and demonstrated their final product to the judges and answered questions. Thereafter, judges announced the winners of the challenge and presented awards. A team from Ryde School came first, with second place being scooped by a team from The Bay comprising of Matthew Manning, Mason Corbett, Caitlin McMahon, Sian McMahon, Jack Lefley and Holly Paxton -Ford.
A massive congratulations to all participants and a huge thank you to IET for affording students this profoundly beneficial experience.