James Calvert Spence College column

RHIANNON Roberts, Alicia Hindhaugh, Steph Orgill and myself, Anna Coils, were interviewed by DT staff at JCSC to take part in this year’s Engineering Competition with the Port of Tyne involving schools across the county.

Every year the Port of Tyne set competitors genuine design problems working alongside professional engineers, learning how to design and solve current problems encountered by local clients.

The students have to present their findings and solutions at the end of the year to a field of experts who will select the winning team based on their teamwork, design and presentation skills.

Luckily, having been successfully chosen to represent our school in the scheme, we went to an introductory workshop at Newcastle University to meet the competition and learn more about what we’d be involved in during the experience.

A talk from last year’s winners, another all girls team, provided us with tips and gave us an idea of some of the fun we had to look forward to over the coming months.

We spent the day working as a team on activities like building a catapult for origami frogs and paper bridge building.

We even came home with a very much appreciated prize of Maltesers, presented for the winning tress bridge made with just 12 sheets of A4 paper and holding a roll of 50 sheets.

After demonstrating our team work we met our engineer who will guide us through the project and answer any questions about the company we are working for.

David from Port of Tyne brought us some company goodies along with some company problems to select our design project.

Leaving ‘Traffic jams’ and ‘Stopping a crane’ to the company experts we chose to try and ‘Fix a leaking light house’ and already have potential solutions ready to be researched.

Along with this we have a list of obstacles we also need to research and overcome including the corrosion of the North Sea and the restrictions alongside this historically listed building, making the project a little more complicated than it first sounds.

After a great introduction to the scheme we are all eager to start work on the problem and get our ideas into practice.

By Anna Coils, Year 12