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Emerging Engineering Talent Tested at Portakabin


Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular construction expert, invited over 100 students from North Yorkshire schools to its York-based head office as part of the 14th Rotary Technology Tournament. It was the first time Portakabin hosted the event.

Held on Tuesday 28 February, the all day tournament attracted an entry of 31 teams from 11 schools across the region with all materials provided by the three Rotary Clubs of York.

Teams of four worked against the clock to design, build and demonstrate a practical solution to a challenging technical problem which remained a closely guarded secret until organisers revealed it on the day. The tasks were set at basic, intermediate and advanced levels and are compatible to several elements in the National Curriculum.

Foundation winners (aged 11-13) was Bootham School, Intermediate winners (aged 14-15) was The Mount and Advanced winners (aged 16-17) was Joseph Rowntree.

The challenge was revealed as creating a catapult.

President of the Rotary Club of York, Eileen Davis said,

“Attracting so many teams is a considerable achievement and shows how the reputation of this annual Rotary event has really caught the imagination of schools in the City. Most schools entered one or more teams and the youngsters taking part ensured that there was a real competitive atmosphere in the heart of one of York’s best known businesses. The great thing is that no preparation or homework was necessary so the pupils were all playing on a level pitch.”

Funded by Portakabin and the University of York, this year’s tournament was held in the Hi-Bay conference centre on the Portakabin site off New Lane in Huntington. Design and Engineering Director Andy Sneyd judged the final submissions and his team of expert engineers presented information to the pupils about working in construction and engineering.

Andy Sneyd, Design and Engineering Director of Portakabin, said,

“We were delighted to be able to support the growth and development of some of York’s most promising engineering and scientific minds. It’s incredibly important that we help to nurture the communities close to us and help were we can to educate these young students about the capabilities of design and engineering in modular construction.” 

The York Civic Party awarded trophies to the winning teams in each category and all participants received medals and personalised certificates.

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