Young engineers take part in Portsmouth High School Challenge Day | Portsmouth High School

Young engineers take part in Portsmouth High School Challenge Day

Portsmouth High School hosted ten visiting primary schools from the local area this week for a Technology Challenge Day. 

The Year 5 and 6 girls were challenged to design, build and test a sustainable transport system which involved them in thinking, planning, constructing and presenting on the day.

Ten teams of girls from Arundel Court, St Swithun’s, Newbridge, Gomer, St Jude’s, Oakwood, Gatcombe Park, Cottage Grove, Wimborne and Portsmouth High School Prep School took part.

The girls were told that an eco-friendly train is required for a new bridge link from Gunwharf to Gosport.  Their task was to create the travel company branding and design a vehicle carriage that will run on the test track.

Mr Graeme Field, Assistant Head and Head of Design and Technology at Portsmouth High School said:

‘This is a fabulous opportunity for Year 5 and 6 girls from local junior schools to compete together to solve a real life challenge.  They were set a really difficult task to design the monorail train but also to think about how their rail company would be promoted.’

‘I’ve really enjoyed the day,’ said Charlotte Parker, 10, from Wimborne Junior School.  ‘I enjoyed working together with my team and choosing different ideas on how best to make the train work and travel a distance without falling.’

‘We’ve learned a lot about team work,’ added Ella Jenkins, 10, also from Wimborne Junior School.  ‘We’ve also listened to the judges and taken ideas from them.’

‘All the girls have worked really well together,’ said Oakwood teacher Mrs Richardson-Fowler.  ‘It’s been interesting watching the girls’ teamwork and communication skills and seeing how the quieter team members have been able to have a voice, encouraged by their teammates.’

The teams had to present their ideas to a panel of judges from industry; Rod Edwards, former CEO of Young Engineers, Paul Mitchell and Andrea Birmingham from BAE Systems and Rinat Khusainov from the University of Portsmouth made up the panel.

‘This is my third year of judging the event,’ said Mr Edwards.  ‘I am always so impressed by the energy, enthusiasm and thought shown by the girls at these challenge days.  It is so good to see Portsmouth High School hosting teams from so many of the local primary schools.’

Paul Mitchell from BAE added: ‘It is important to give these girls such an experience.  It is only through these experiences that they can begin to make informed decisions about their future careers.’

The winning team was St Swithun’s Primary School and they will be presented with trophies and prizes in the next few weeks.