Two Oakham pupils take top spots in national Design Technology Competition

Two pupils from Oakham School have each been awarded first prize in the Alu D&T Challenge: impressively winning the individual award for two out of the three categories at this national event!

Amy and Alex were awarded ‘Individual Winner’ in their category and were invited to a celebration event at the Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham, where they were presented with their prizes. Both were given a 3D printer and a 3D pen for the School, along with £100 of Amazon vouchers as a personal prize!

“Amy and Alex’s success are all the more impressive given that they took this project on entirely by themselves,” says Oakham’s Head of Design Technology, Tim Weston. “This is all of their own work, as part of a scholarship challenge to be undertaken in their own time. It is a real a testament to their ability to work independently, to research and create ideas. This is exactly what Oakhamians are challenged and actively encouraged to do – so it’s fantastic to see it in action, and for their efforts to be rewarded on a national stage.”

The competition challenged students aged 11–14 to create sustainable designs using aluminium, and Alex’s winning entry was in the ‘Vehicle for the Future’ category. The aluminium car he designed included a number of cutting edge technologies and aimed to help older and disabled people travel more easily and safely. “I was inspired by the idea of people sharing travel where they could,” says Alex, “hence my CAr traiN (or CAN for short) which allows vehicles to connect together.” Alex was particularly thrilled that Jaguar Land Rover presented his prize and mentioned how impressed they were with his design.

Amy’s winning entry, in the ‘Garden Building for the Creative Homeworker’ category, was a 3D model of a music room with its own stage, which she had specially designed for her brother. 

A judging panel made up of senior figures from the aluminium industry, and specialists in automotive engineering, packaging design and architecture chose the winners. The judges praised Amy and Alex’s entries, outlining just how impressive they were. They highlighted the creativity shown and commended all of the finalists on the amount of detailed research they had conducted, especially in ensuring their designs met the 6Rs of sustainability.

A special mention also must to go to all the Oakham pupils who took part in the competition, most notably, Archie whose entry was one of the 30 shortlisted for the final. This was an impressive achievement given the high number of entries from schools across the UK.

Tim Weston concludes, “these pupils all have incredibly bright futures ahead of them, and I’m confident that they will become a strong team for future design and engineering competitions. We are very much looking forward to helping them all to follow their passion for the subject.”

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