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Year of Engineering Launched with ‘Uplifting’ Bentley Visit

As part of its programme of events and activities celebrating 2018 as the Year of Engineering, Congleton High School was joined by two Graduate Engineers from Bentley, who challenged a group of twenty four Year Seven Design and Technology students to design and build a wind turbine capable of lifting a number of weights.

Working in teams, the students were provided with a range of basic materials including card, pencils, scissors, string, plastic cups and tape and given an example of a wind turbine design. The exercise enabled students to combine their engineering knowledge and skills with their creativity to develop the most effective end product. Although they had been shown an example, the students did not let this limit their creativity, taking a wide range of different, considered approaches to solving the problem.

The teams worked together for an hour on the turbines, problem-solving and tweaking as they went along to ensure that their device was up to the task. At the end of the challenge, each turbine was tested to ensure that it worked and both turned and lifted. A hair dryer provided the wind power to ensure the turbines turned, then weights were slowly added to the plastic cup ‘baskets’ to check the lifting capacity.

Whilst some turbines performed better than others, each team had put a great deal of thought and effort into their designs, using the theories and ideas discussed at the beginning of the challenge. The winning team, which consisted entirely of girls, created a twin-turbine design, with one turbine turning then pushing a second around, like cogs and wheels, which gave the power to lift three of the weights.

The two Bentley visitors, Domonique Roberts and Jonathan McCrae were both recent graduates yet had already been involved in a wide range of projects and opportunities at the company, with many great achievements already under their belts. Their stories, along with the day’s activities, left the students feeling both motivated and inspired to learn more about Engineering, its applications and the different careers available.

Congleton High School would like to thank Domonique and Jonathan for coming along to work with the Year Seven group and also Bentley for their continued support of the school, which offers students access to a great many engineering opportunities.

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