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Three York Schools and Selby High Take Part in Tour de France Engineering Days


3:55pm 22nd May 2014

Three schools in York and one in Selby will be involved in specialist engineering days to mark the Tour de France.

From 2 June until 17 July, 20 IET Faraday Challenge Days (FCDs) will take place in Yorkshire, inspired by the Tour de France Grand Départ. In York, Queen Ethelburgas College, St Peter’s School and Canon Lee School will be taking part as will Selby High School.

Students will get the opportunity to model and print using 3D design software and 3D printers as well as designing electronic components. The whole exercise will give the students insight into the roles and responsibilities of an engineering team as they not only try to create their prototypes but then justify their ideas, costs and implementation plans to the judges.

Holly Margerison, Education Manager at the IET, said: “After the success of our annual Faraday Challenge Days, we felt the best way to celebrate the arrival of the Tour would be to run a mini-season for the students in Yorkshire.

“We expect the region to be gripped by yellow jersey fever, and these Challenge Days will encourage children to think about the engineering aspects involved in the Tour. 

“It is the world’s largest annual sporting event, with a number of schools lying close to the route so we hope that many other schools will want to be a part of this and to reintroduce engineering..  Without engineering there would be no Tour!”

The Faraday Challenge Days are one day activities, designed for six teams of six students aged 12-13 years, delivered in your school by the IET. They give students the opportunity to research, design and build prototype solutions to genuinely tough engineering problems.

The IET Faraday Challenge Days have been running since 2008, reaching over 2000 students each year. The competition takes place in participating schools where students work in teams competing against one another in an off-timetable, engineering-based activity day. The students may come from the same school or be invited teams from other local schools. The days are led by the IET’s contractors so the schools only need organise an appropriate room and mobilise the children.

To ensure that everyone is able to compete fairly by having the same resources available to them, the contractors will be taking all the necessary equipment with them to each school. The 3D printers have been generously loaned by Denford Ltd of Brighouse, with whom the IET already collaborate on the F1 and 4x4 In Schools Challenges; and the 3D design software has been provided by Autodesk.

Graham Titchener, regional director of the Tour de France legacy, Cycle Yorkshire said: “This is a wonderful example of how the Tour is being used to inspire future generations of engineers, and helping to showcase the fundamental importance of engineering and how fun it can be.”

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