March 2018: Technology wizards scoop two trophies

INDUSTRIOUS students with a talent for design have scooped two trophies at the Rotary Club Technology Tournament.

The BAE Systems sponsored challenge at Hollins Technology College in Accrington saw students from high schools all over Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale creating a launch pad with trigger mechanism to propel a plastic ball into the air.

Older students had to create a parachute system to safely bring the ball back to earth with the sixth form teams being challenged to propel the ball inside a cup, which then had to detach before the parachute operated.

Our Sixth Form team won the advanced category while Year 9 students won the foundation category.

Ben Wilson, 14, said: “We had to launch a ball into the air at least three metres and then have it land as near as possible to its start point.

“We had built the launch pad and tested it after about two hours and we also had to write up a portfolio of what we had done and any modifications we made to our initial design.

“Our launch sent the ball up to the rafters and usually one in every three attempts saw it land back in the cup. When it came to the competition it landed back in the cup.

“I am taking Design Technology as a GCSE and so taking part was useful as was the team work.”

Daniel Sheridan, 14, who was in the intermediate team, said: “I was the designer in our team and to create the launch mechanism I thought about the staging that is used for a rocket.

“We had a parachute on the ball, but it didn’t work very well and although we adjusted the size it ended up too small.”