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Turning up the heat on the competition

Ellie Fyall, Taylor Cash, Francis Egan from Cuadrilla, Mike Phelan from Blackpool and The Fylde College and Millfield headteacher Sean Bullen. Below: Last years winners.

Ellie Fyall, Taylor Cash, Francis Egan from Cuadrilla, Mike Phelan from Blackpool and The Fylde College and Millfield headteacher Sean Bullen. Below: Last years winners.

The reigning champions in the Young Engineers STEM Skills Challenge are hard at work ready for the second competition.

Teenagers from schools across the Fylde coast will be going head-to-head in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) challenge, organised by The Gazette, Cuadrilla Resources and Centrica, and hosted by Blackpool and The Fylde College.

The inaugural challenge last year was won by Millfield Science and Performing Arts College, Thornton, netting them £10,000 to spend on STEM equipment. It has been used to buy state-of-the-art technology and set up a STEM club.

Youngsters were asked to design and build a balloon-powered buggy using just limited materials and their knowledge of the STEM subjects.

The buggies were then raced, with the one which travelled furthest within a set space declared the winner.

This year children will take part in a ‘blind challenge’, having no knowledge of the task ahead of the contest.

Up for grabs is a huge pot of money, £12,000 to be split between the winner and runner up, courtesy of Centrica and Cuadrilla Resources.

The main objective of the project is to encourage students to enjoy the challenge of problem solving while using science and mathematics and working as a team.

Millfield is now hotly anticipating the first heat, to be held at Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Bispham campus on Monday.

Science teacher Justine Azzopardi said: “The excitement is building at Millfield as the Young Engineers 2014 competition day draws nearer.

“As reigning champions, we know that we have a lot to live up to, so we have been busy working on our engineering and design skills, researching different aspects of engineering and trying to predict what the next challenge might be.

“We wish all of the other schools the best of luck.”

Pupil Ellie Fyall, 14, said: “Millfield’s STEM club has been busy preparing for the Young Engineers competition, carrying out force and design investigations and holding trials to decide who will be part of the team this year.”

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