Rotary Technology Tournament



Wednesday the 4th March 2009 saw 64 students and 4 teachers take part in the Rotary Technology Tournament at the Greenford Hall, Ruislip Road, Greenford. The event which was organised by the Rotary Club of Hanwell & Northfields and supported by the Rotary Club of Ealing is in its fourth year, and is as popular as ever among the participants and the organisers.

The event is a one day competition in which students arrive at the venue unaware of what task they will have to complete, the students are split into teams of 4 and are assessed during the day on:

- Planning - use of time and resources, team organisation and management. - Design Analysis - analysis of the problem; awareness of physical constraints and principles. - Design Development - generation of more than one idea and the development of the solution; presentation and communication of ideas. - Realisation - making skills; appropriate use of materials. - Their project portfolio.

This year's task was to design and build a gripping device so that radioactive material can be safely handled from a distance. The material - a tennis ball, will be positioned in an open backed box with a front opening of 125 x 85 mm. The gripping device must pass through the opening to grip the ball and retrieve it in the same way from a distance of 1500 mm and placed centrally on a target area. The ball cannot be rolled during picking up, delivery or placement centrally on the target.

The design had to fulfil the following criteria:

- Grip the tennis ball (64mm diameter) securely so as not to drop it.

- The grip must operated by a trigger / lever mechanism and not by pulling strings manually.

- Be operated by one team member only during the final test within a 30 seconds time limit.

The materials that the students were given to complete the task with were:

- 10mm x 600mm square section timber 6 lengths

- Thin string (in one piece) 5 metres

- A4 Card 3 sheets

- 4mm dowel 100mm 1

- Woodscrews ¾ in. x No 4 CSK 6

- Elastic bands 4

- Straws 4 To ensure students are competing on a level plain field the competitors are split into 3 age groups which are:

Basic Tasks are for students in Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 14)

Intermediate Tasks are intended for Key Stage 4 (ages 15 to 16)

Advanced Tasks are for students in years 12 and 13 (Sixth Form) and Teachers if available

The event started at 0930 hours and finished at 1500 hours with all the teams having successfully completed the task to a high standard.

The skill and imagination that was displayed in achieving the aims of the competition was fantastic and each year the standard seems to get better and better.

The winners of the basic section were Springhallow School

We had a very close intermediate section which resulted in Villiers High School and Twyford C of E High School being declared joint winners

The Advanced section was also a very close run thing with the teachers team running Brentside High School very close, the teachers however very graciously conceded to Brentside High Sixth Form in the end.

It was a great day and in the end all the competitors were winners