Academy takes major design prize
A Staffordshire school that is committed to creating the engineers of the future has won a major prize at the UK’s biggest independent science, technology, engineering and mathematics event.
Great Wyrley Academy beat off the challenge of 15 schools from across the UK to win the ‘efficiency’ title at the Design and Make Challenge 2023, the largest one ever held by the Manufacturing Assembly Network.
A team of four worked together to design, test and build an aircraft, using just a box of simple materials and a selection of hand tools.
The brief was to create a machine that could be launched from a pair of purpose-built air cannons, with the pupils surpassing the organisers’ expectations by travelling 16 metres to the wall at the end of the test area.
“This was the fourth year of the Design and Make Challenge and our biggest yet – in fact, we more than doubled the size of the event held in 2022,” explained Austin Owens, managing director at Grove Design (Pembridge) and co-chairman of MAN, a collective of seven sub-contract manufacturers and a specialist engineering design agency.
“We all have a bigger role to play in getting young people excited about possible careers in science and engineering, especially if we are going to achieve what we want to as an industry and take advantage of the new opportunities in reshoring and cleaner mobility.
“The MAN Group saw this coming, and this is why we created the event, using our own time and money. We now need the rest of the sector to join us and create more opportunities for young people to engage with engineering.
“There is an appetite there from young people and the schools to do more, so we must work on what we are going to provide next.
“Massive congratulations to the Great Wyrley team, who proved once again that they have a natural aptitude for design, engineering, and science. Hopefully a few of them will go on to be the industrial talent of the future.”
The school get a 3D Printer as part of their prize package.
The challenge was held at the University of Warwick, where pupils were able to tap into the expertise of MAN apprentices and WMG engineers during the eight-hour challenge, with the organisers offering the opportunity for school visits, work experience and placements.
There was also an announcement on the day that 17 apprenticeships are currently available across the seven MAN sub-contract manufacturers and the specialist engineering design agency.