Rotary Club of Penrith
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It was an excellent day out and all three teams performed extremely well.
The Senior team were outstanding and won the Advanced Technology Trophy. In all, 23 teams entered the Competition.
Ullswater Community College entered three teams in the Competition which was sponsored by BAE Systems. A total of 23 teams from our region took part and awards were made to the best teams at basic, intermediate and advanced levels.
The task for teams at each level was:-
To construct from the materials provided, a rocket launch pad which would launch a rocket to a height of 3 meters, the team were also required to construct the rocket.
This team had to construct a rocket launch pad and a rocket which would rise to at least 3 meters. The rockets descent had to be parachute assisted and land as close to the launch site as possible.
This team had also to construct the rocket launch pad, and the parachute descending rocket, but in addition, this rocket had to be equipped with a booster which would fall away from the rocket prior to landing.
The day began at 9.30am when all the teams were briefed by the Chief Judge (a senior engineer with a large manufacturing company). They were given all necessary materials to complete the project and then given one hour in which to plan and design it.
At 10.40am teams were allowed to start construction, they were allowed to break for lunch if they wished, but most teams worked throughout, eating their lunch at the construction site. The exercise ended at 2pm.
The next hour was taken up by testing and judging each entry. The panel of judges took into consideration the work undertaken in the planning phase, the skills shown in building the equipment, the ways in which each team allocated tasks, undertook decisions, and how the equipment performed in final test.
At all levels, Ullswater College tackled the project with great skill and enthusiasm. The Basic team were hampered by the loss of one student, nevertheless the three remaining students planned and constructed an ingenious rocket launcher and rocket which performed well in the final test, and we were hopeful of an award but were piped at the post by another excellent entry.
The Intermediate Team also worked well in the planning stages, the construction of the launch pad was particularly innovative, however in the final test the parachute aided rocket failed to live up to its earlier promise in trials. Had it done so, we are certain that it would have brought the team victory.
The Advanced Team were superb! From the outset they tackled the project with flare and enthusiasm. In the planning stage highly complex calculations were made, rough sketches were drawn and redrawn several times to ensure that the final build was as true to design as possible. The advanced teams were the last to be judged and some excellent results were produced by competing colleges. If the Ullswater team were daunted by the quality of the competition it didn't show. Their launcher worked perfectly, the rocket shot high into the air, the booster fell away and the parachute assisted the rocket back to the ground within a hairs breadth of the launch site. We were certain that Ullswater had pulled off a great victory but had to wait until all entries had been judged and the results announced. They had trounced their rivals.
Ullswaters senior team were awarded the Rotary District Technology Tournament for 2009.In addition to the Trophy, each team member received 2 books and a Certificate.
Our other teams were also awarded Certificates of participation.
Finally we must thank one other prize-winner of that day. Miss Rhonda Dockray was responsible for organising the Ullswater Teams, transporting them to the event and participating in the Competition as a staff member, needless to say that her team won that competition, her award was of the bottled variety.
In summary, the teams and staff were great ambassadors for the College, all of us had a most enjoyable day in Windermere and to return with the advanced award was the icing on the cake. We look forward to another successful event in 2010.
Syd Monk - Chair,Youth Ops