The IET Faraday Engineering Challenge Days are held at schools around the UK are enormously popular with teachers and students alike. The IET is one of the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. They are committed to the advancement of science, engineering and technology and to encouraging young people to study the STEM subjects and consider careers within the engineering and technology sectors.
The Faraday Challenge Days give students the opportunity to research, design and make solutions to genuinely tough engineering problems. Brayton High school were invited to enter two competing teams of six students from Year 7. The teams were selected by Maths, Science, Design Technology and ICT.
This year’s Faraday Challenge focused on the use of the new BBC Micro:bit which is a pocket sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built in compass and Bluetooth technology.
The device can be programmed to act as a bag alarm, a flood warning system, a heart rate monitor or as a home security device for example.
The teams from Brayton High School were competing against other teams from Selby High School, Canon Lee School and Joseph Rowntree School.
Members of each team were given roles such as Coder, Timekeeper, Accountant, Production Manager or Marketing Manager. Each team were required to use the micro:bit to design, code and promote two programs for different purposes.
As a team they were required to “pitch’ their ideas to the other teams, the IET team and the teachers present.
Team 1 (Lauren Smith, Maia Walker, Charlotte Peart, Bailey Taylor, Will Tarling and Luke Matthews) designed and coded a burglar warning system and medical bag alarm.
Team 2 (Darcie Edmunds, Mollie Newbould, Molly Spooner, Jack Shaw, Ben Parkinson and Dylan Simpson) designed and coded an aid for dyslexic students and a device to remind people when they should take medication.
The organisers were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm, teamwork, ideas, coding and the quality of the “pitch” of both teams but in a close run competition they narrowly lost out to a team from Selby High School.
All the students enjoyed the day and benefitted from the experience.