Girls win the day with solution to rail problem at industry innovation day
SIXTY budding engineers have been competing against each other in the annual Innovation Rail competition at Derby College's historic Roundhouse building.
Students from 11 schools went head-to-head in two challenges directly linked to problems encountered in the rail industry.
The eventual winners were an all-girls team from Sinfin Community School, who came up with a solution to the theoretical challenge of cable theft from the side of railway lines.
They took part in a final Dragons' Den-style presentation alongside Merrill Academy pupils, who were runners-up.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The Sinfin team's design and technology teacher, June Baldwin, said: "I am so proud of the pupils, who beat off stiff competition.
"All of them are involved in engineering and technology subjects and showed an interest in coming along."
The day began for the teams at 9am when they met in the college site's Carriage Shop theatre and were divided into two groups to visit the Bombardier engineering works and also the East Midlands Rail Network control centre, in Bateman Street.
Dave Sanders, iRail chairman, said: The event is a wonderful opportunity for young people to see what opportunities are available in engineering and, more specifically, in the rail sector.
"When they began working on the challenges after their return from the trips, there was a real buzz in the room as they put their ideas together.
"The rail industry needs more and more good people and so it is better to engage them at the ages of 13 to 15 before they decide to drop subjects such as maths, which they will need to become engineers.
"A female team winning is no surprise because they seem to perform very well in this type of challenge."
Natalie Wood, 13, is a pupil at Derby High School, which fielded an all-girls team.
She said: "I was interested in going to the event because I wanted to know more about engineering opportunities.
"The trips to Bombardier and the control centre were very interesting and have certainly given me other career options to think about."
Wilsthorpe Community School pupil Cameron Hoe, 14, from Long Eaton, is already studying GCSE engineering. He said: "It's all about creating an idea and then being able to develop it.
"It has been a good day and we have all worked well together."
Teacher Alistair Dunn was with a team of pupils from Lees Brook Community School. He said: "It is the fourth year we have been to iRail and find it is useful for pupils who are already studying technology subjects.
"I think we all found the trips interesting and it was also a good chance to be able to speak to support organisations which were exhibiting at the event."
Other schools taking part included Chellaston Academy, Noel-Baker School, Bemrose School, George Spencer Academy and Friesland School.