Last term, twelve of our year 8 students were invited to Hammersmith Academy to take part in The Institute of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Faraday Challenge, sponsored by The Jack Petchey Foundation. IET have been working for many years to encourage young people to engage in Science, Design and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives and to consider engineering as a possible career.

The Faraday challenge is a cross-curricular activity day run over several months and involves over 320 schools across the UK. The challenge gives students an opportunity to research, design and make solutions to genuinely tough engineering problems. As part of the challenge our students were asked to design a brand new attraction for Thorpe Park. They were given a brief, presented by the head engineer for the park and they were shown where the attraction will be built within the parks 490 acres. The 5 top winning teams from each activity day will take part in a national tournament hosted by Thorpe Park.

Our students were split into two teams and took on the role of engineers for the day.  They were given various activities to undertake, which closely resembled the real life process engineers undertake when designing a new attraction. Using their Faraday money, students had to purchase materials and build a model prototype of their attraction. They started from the initial planning stages all the way through to the design phrase and at the end of the day each team presented their ideas, along with their models to the IET Faraday Challenge representative. Our students develop the idea for the world’s first underwater roller coaster and giant bungee zip wire attraction. The students thoroughly enjoyed the entire day and all agreed that The Faraday Challenge has sparked their interest in engineering as a possible career.

Students involved:  Yaseen Ahmed, Sian Baptiste, Zosar El Jack Ali, Zeinab El-Soudi, Joshua Kassie, Omar Omar, Nashwan Rawn, Ashleen Kaur Shina, Sneha Sidha, John Lloyd Territorio, Somera Vaiksnoraite and Nadira Sulub.