Pupils engineer a win in national competition

The winning team from North Stainley Primary School.
The winning team from North Stainley Primary School.

Budding civil engineers at a primary school near Ripon have seen their creativity rewarded after winning a prestigious national competition run by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

North Stainley C of E Primary School was the winner of ICE’s fun-filled Big Bang Civil Engineering Classroom Challenge, which taught youngsters about engineering and sustainability in building design.

The competition gave schoolchildren aged eight to 16 from across the UK the task of devising a plan and newspaper report that turned the Casement Park Stadium in Belfast into an emergency shelter for 500 victims of a fictional hurricane, set in the year 2064.

North Stainley’s winning report focussed on creating renewable energy sources for those affected by the hurricane, as well as devising a suitable water supply and a plan on transport and how to direct people to and from the 

For winning the competition, the school has been given a 3D printer from Ultimaker and a design master class from Mott MacDonald – a global management, engineering and development consultancy.

Elizabeth Watts, headteacher of North Stainley Primary School, said “This competition really put the children’s learning into context.

“All the work we do in school in maths, design technology, Eco Schools, developing teamwork and writing for real audiences was put into excellent use during this project. We are only a very small rural school so it was really exciting for the children to win a national competition.

“I am sure this project has produced some future engineers as the children all loved the challenge.”

Penny Marshall, regional director of ICE Yorkshire and Humber, said: “It is estimated that more than 820,000 science, engineering and technology professionals will be needed by 2020, and ICE is always looking at ways to promote engineering and inspire young people interested in the profession.

“The Big Bang competition was a perfect example of engaging school children and helping them learn about the vital role civil engineering will play in their future.

“I would like to congratulate North Stainley Primary School and its students on a well-deserved award win. The students involved produced a very interesting and insightful plan and newspaper report on how to overcome the crisis, displaying a real knack and enthusiasm for engineering. I’m sure the 3D printer and master class will prove to be very useful to the school and will hopefully go a long way towards inspiring the next generation of civil engineers.”