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Stars of the stadiums: ICE celebrates youth talent

School students from Cornwall and Belfast beat 200 other teams from across the UK to take home the national prize for their innovative proposals for a new local sports stadium.

New sports venue challenge

Create Sport, a national competition run by the ICE, Arup and the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), challenged nearly 1000 12 to 13 year olds across the country to plan, design and construct a model for a new sports venue.

Proposals had to take into account all the engineering considerations of a real life project, such as environmental and community impact and planning and safety requirements, in an attempt to help students get a taste of the profession.

Eleven regional finalists came to One Great George Street last week to compete for two national prizes of £1000 for their school, with runner ups winning either an exclusive visit to the Olympic Velodrome, daytrips to BRE educational centre or a school visit by a top athlete.

Truro and Belfast come out on top

Teams from Penair School in Truro and Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, triumphed in the final mock public inquiry where they were required to defend their project to the ‘community’. In this case it was the judges, composed of athletes and engineers including Olympic gold medallist Ben Hunt-David, Team GB Olympic cyclist Shaun McKeown, and representatives from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

The Penair School’s project, a design and model for a Cornwall National Fencing Centre, featured a flexible gridshell roof and factored in plans to use rainwater for their stadium’s facilities, including showers and flushing toilets, as well as solar energy to power the venue.

Grosvenor Grammar School’s project Sus-tadium was a modular construction featuring Energy Piezo-electrical devices and turbine power generation through a system of water pods. The proposal also included a ticketing scheme for the sports stadium where recipients are posted grass seeds to grow, aiming to offset the carbon impact of each event held.

“Innovation on inclusivity”

Judge and ODA director of infrastructure and utilities Simon Wright said: “The team from Grosvenor Grammar School with their Sus-Stadium showed a maturity of thinking beyond their years. The judges particularly liked the appropriate city centre location and the flexible approach to the development phasing.

“Their innovation on inclusivity measures such as the braille handrail coupled with some really original sustainability ideas was further evidence of their sophisticated approach.”

ICE President Peter Hansford said nearly 1000 students had been involved in the inaugural competition: “It is crucial that we engage young people early enough to make informed curriculum, and ultimately career choices.”

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