Science and Technology Challenge Days are arranged across the UK for Gifted and Talented Year 8/9′s. Within mixed-school teams, they undertake practical applied-science / technology related challenges led by members of our team of students recruited from leading local universities. In 2016, 99% of the teachers and 86% of the young people that attended our days, considered them to be ‘good’ or ‘very good’
Winning teams are presented with awards by a local Mayor or Deputy Lieutenant. The overall winning teams compete in Challenge Finals. In 2016, the Finals were hosted by the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield and Queen Mary, University of London.
Below is an outline of our typical activities:
Using the latest Lego Mindstorm EV3 kit, young people design and build robots. They are then asked to programme the infrared and light sensors to avoid a series of obstacles on a track.
A short sketch is acted out in which someone’s wallet is stolen. The young people are then asked to use commercial E-FIT software to generate an image of the ‘thief’. The ‘thief’ returns at the end, so that their appearance can be compared with the young peoples’ images.
Electric Car Challenge
Using plastic kit pieces, young people design and then build a battery powered vehicle. At the end the vehicles are raced against each other. Young people are encouraged to investigate how design effects the speed and ‘power’ of their vehicle.
Young people undertake the role of a doctor investigating a neurological illness. To make their diagnosis they question the ‘patient’, examine X-rays and look at EEG scans of their brain activity. Young people then investigate how technology is being used to improve the lives of people with similar illnesses.