Budding engineers in MK Rotary Tech Tournament

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This week, sixty young budding engineers attempted a demanding set of challenges in an attempt to win the Milton Keynes Rotary Technology Tournament in historic Block H, the home of Colossus and now The National Museum of Computing.

The MK tournament is part of a UK network of Rotary Technology Tournaments and is designed to help develop the skills and talents of young people.

In the Milton Keynes tournament, the winning teams of boys and girls in the three age categories represented:

  • Basic Level Challenge Ousedale School
  • Intermediate Challenge The Hazeley Academy
  • Advanced Challenge St Paul’s Catholic School

Each team of four students had been provided with a set of tools and asked to design and implement a solution to a challenge kept secret until the day. Working throughout the Museum against the backdrop of computers representing seven decades of engineering and computing prowess, the teams set about their exacting tasks with creativity, enthusiasm and skill.

A member of the winning St Paul’s Catholic School team described the thoughtful way they tackled the project: “It was lots of fun and really hectic. We delegated tasks for each person. Two people worked on the portfolio, one on the electronics and one on the design -- and then we gave feedback frequently to see if it would work. And it did!”

Peter Kara, Secretary of the Rotary Tech Tournament Committee, said “We are thrilled to have been able to hold the MK tournament at The National Museum of Computing. This year’s competition was especially tough and the students will have learnt about developing their skills, working in a team in a competitive environment and the importance of sharing and the cross-fertilisation of ideas. We are also delighted to have involved local companies in sponsoring the competition, as it adds that vital link between education and commerce, so important to the future well-being of our economy."

Tim Reynolds, Chairman of The National Museum of Computing and a judge for the Rotary Technology Tournament, said: “I was rather overawed by the creativity and skills demonstrated by these young people! In the Museum we are surrounded by outstanding examples of British engineering and computing ingenuity, and one of our main aims is to inspire the next generation of computer scientists and engineers through our Learning programme for schools and colleges. It was hugely gratifying to see an emerging generation of creative problem solvers in action.”

The winning teams each received trophies and a FUZE programmable computer and electronics workstation, a device that harnesses the potential of the Raspberry Pi and brings to life the key stages of the ICT curriculum in a fun and engaging way.

Runners-up received Technology Will Save Us DIY Synth Kits.

The Rotary Clubs of Milton Keynes expressed their thanks to the sponsors of this year’s Technology Tournament: TNMOC, FUZE, Ceravision, Tech Mahindra and PJ Care.

Rotary is a worldwide network translating passions into relevant social causes, to change lives in communities.

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