Ysgol Glan-y-Mor

Ysgol Bryngwyn School Ysgol Bryngwyn School

Ysgol Glan-y-MOr Students announced as winners in aluminium industry's national schools sustainable design competition

Ysgol Glan-y-Môr pupils were among the winners in a national competition to find the designers of the future.  Eleven Year 9 pupils from the school travelled to Birmingham last week to receive their prizes in the Alu D&T Challenge, a competition for 11-14 year olds.

In the ‘Garden Building’ category Ysgol Glan-y-Môr pupils Ben Harris, Charlie Hall and Rhys Rowlands won the team prize and Wiktoria Swiatkowska, Carys Nurse, Nicole Vaughan Jones and Jennifer Grant were also named as runners up.   Whilst in the ‘Vehicle for the Future’ category  Jasmine Palmer, Rhiannon Sturgess-Jacob, Jessie Leigh Craig and Jasmine Peters won the prize for the best team design The talented young designers have won a 3D printer for the school’s Design & Techology Department, plus 3D pens and vouchers for themselves and the school.  They received their prizes at an award ceremony held last week at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.

The national schools competition, linked to the Design and Technology curriculum at Key Stage 3, helps teach pupils about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium by challenging them to design a sustainable product for the future using aluminium.

This year’s competition set individual and team challenges based on real-life briefs faced by designers, engineers and manufacturers in three categories - transport, building and packaging.  Judging took place in two stages, reducing over 280 entries to a final shortlist of 32; with the final winners chosen by senior figures from the aluminium industry, automotive engineering and architecture. 

In addition to the category prizes the individual designer voted the judges’ favourite won a trip to Germany, including a visit to the Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products facility at Grevenbroich, near Dusseldorf.  The plant, which employs more than 2,000 people, is the company’s largest aluminium production site in Germany, producing 440,000 tonnes of aluminium annually for customers including in the packaging, automotive and construction industries.  The winner was Leon Andrews of St. Ives School, whose re-design for an aluminium case for a child’s ukulele was singled out for its close attention to the ‘6R’s of sustainable design’ whilst creating a practical, fun product which would be appealing to its target market of 9 – 14 year olds.

Speaking about the winning submissions at the prize-giving ceremony Alu D&T Challenge judge and sponsor Nigel Gibbon of Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products said: “All of the judges were impressed by the amount of work the schools had put into the competition.  Between them the winners demonstrated some really progressive ideas about designing sustainable products using aluminium, and I hope we have inspired some future engineers, designers and materials scientists who will make a difference to industry in the future. I always enjoy meeting the winners, and find the day spent with such bright enthusiastic pupils to be inspirational and a wonderful reminder of the great talent we have in our children.”

Mrs S Quirk, Ysgol Glan-y-Môr said: ”The Alu Challenge gave our pupils a fabulous opportunity to use their design and innovation skills in an industry based context.  They enjoyed working in teams and found this helped them analyse and develop their ideas to a higher level than if working on their own; which is of course how design teams work in industry.  It was also pleasing to see how the pupils engaged with project, not only producing some great design drawings but also making scale models of their ideas.  Mr Huw Lewis Minister for Education and Skills in Wales who visited the school just before half term was very impressed with the winning entries produced by the eleven pupils and commended them on their success.”