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Welsh pupils compete to get the wind turbine up

ICE news

OVER 340 budding engineering enthusiasts under 14 years of age took part in the Engineering Team Challenge to build a wind turbine in South Wales last month.

Graduates from contractors and consultants across Wales aided pupils from 27 schools and also judged the event.

The challenge is now in its sixth year and is sponsored by consultants Atkins, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Halcrow, the ICE, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and NCE.

'For the UK to compete in technical innovation, it is crucial to produce enough high quality engineers and scientists to supply the needs of industry, ' said challenge organiser Alan Perry.

Pupils descended on Swansea University and Trinity College, Carmarthen to build 90 wind turbines using paper, card and straws.

A cord was wound around the axle of the turbine which was connected to a test car.

The turbine was then tested to see if it would turn when a desktop fan was switched on and pull the car 1m along 'Atkins Avenue'.

Materials were limited and pupils had less than two hours to complete the task, after which they were quizzed about their design.

'The annual competition is intended to encourage school pupils to think about a career in engineering at professional level, ' said Perry. During the day pupils also met university professors and the Welsh Assembly education minister Jane Davidson.

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