Winners of the 2015/16 Alu D&T Challenge, a design competition for 11 to 14 year olds, were announced at a prize-giving event at Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham on 24 February.
The national schools’ competition, linked to the Design and Technology curriculum at Key Stage 3, helps teach pupils about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium by challenging them to design a sustainable product for the future using aluminium.
This year’s competition set individual and team challenges based on real-life briefs faced by designers, engineers and manufacturers in three categories – transport, building and packaging. Judging took place in two stages, reducing over 280 entries to a final shortlist of 32; with the final winners chosen by senior figures from the aluminium industry, automotive engineering and architecture.
The winning individual and team in each of the three design challenges won a desktop 3D printer for their school, plus £100 in vouchers for the pupils. Prizes were also awarded to runners up and finalists in each category.
The panel of judges agreed the 2015/16 winners were:
Vehicle of the future category:
- Winner – individual: Molly Broome (Year 7) Barr Beacon School – Walsall
- Winner – team: Rhiannon Strugess-Jacob, Jasmine Palmer, Jessie Leigh Craig and Jasmine Peters (Year 9) Ysgol Glan-y-Mor – S. Wales
- Runner Up: Kirsten Hawkins and Julia Thwaites (Year 8) Colyton Grammar School – Devon
- Commended: Christopher Shaw (P7) Kirkstyle Primary – East Ayrshire
Garden building for a creative homeworker category:
- Winner – individual: Ella Coulter (Year 8) Alderley Edge School for Girls, Cheshire
- Winner –team: Charlie Hall, Ben Harris and Rhys Rowlands (Year 9) Ysgol Glan-y-Mor, S. Wales
- Runner up: Wiktoria Swiatkowska, Carys Nurse, Nicole Vaughan Jones and Jennifer Grant (Year 9) Ysgol Glan-y-Mor, S. Wales
Innovative new packaging solution category:
- Winner – individual: Leon Andrews (Year 9) St. Ives School, Cornwall
- Winner – team: Will Williams and Sam Barlow (Year 9) St Ives School, Cornwall
- Runner up: Maia Uys (Year 9) St Ives School, Cornwall
In addition to the category prizes the individual designer voted the judges’ favourite won a trip to Germany, including a visit to the Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products facility at Grevenbroich, near Dusseldorf. The plant, which employs more than 2,000 people, is the company’s largest aluminium production site in Germany, producing 440,000 tonnes of aluminium annually for customers including in the packaging, automotive and construction industries. The winner was Leon Andrews of St. Ives School, whose re-design for an aluminium case for a ukulele was singled out for its close attention to the ‘6R’s of sustainable design’ whilst creating a practical, fun product which would be appealing to its target market of 9 – 14 year olds.
Speaking about the winning submissions at the prize-giving ceremony in Birmingham, Alu D&T Challenge judge and sponsor Nigel Gibbon of Hydro Aluminium said: “All of the judges were impressed by the amount of work the schools had put into the competition. Between them the winners demonstrated some really progressive ideas about designing sustainable products using aluminium, and I hope we have inspired some future engineers, designers and materials scientists who will make a difference to industry in the future.”
Alupro’s Marketing & Communications Manager, Diana Caldwell, said: “This was the third year of the Alu D&T Challenge, and once again we received entries from schools around the UK, showcasing the design talent of young people. We hope the lessons they’ve learned about aluminium stand them in good stead for the future! This competition couldn’t happen without the support we receive from the across the aluminium industry, which invests a great deal in making the design briefs interesting and rewarding for both teachers and students.”
The Alu D&T Challenge is run by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) on behalf of the UK aluminium industry. Details of the 2016/17 D&T Challenge will be released in May. To register for further information, email: email@example.com or visit the web site, www.learningaluminium.co.uk