Technology Tournament 10 venues around Cumbria & Lancashire

Mole Goal!

2017 Technology Tournament

On the 17th March over 1200 students and school staff from over 70 schools throughout the District were set the goal of making a mole to win trophies and prizes in the annual BAE Systems Rotary Technology Tournament.

Over 300 teams each of 4 people in 10 venues were challenged to make a miniature Pipeline Mole to clear or retrieve debris from within a pipeline.

Engineers working on pipelines need a piece of self-propelled equipment to crawl along the inside of the pipeline with a camera and a floodlight to check that all is well, make repairs or to clear blockages. This equipment is called a mole.

The challenge was to design and build a miniature mole powered by an electric motor, to travel smoothly and unaided along the inside of the test pipeline and push the ten pieces of debris in the pipe to the end in the shortest possible time. For older students’ age 14 to 17, the mole had then to reverse smoothly and unaided, being driven by the motor, back along the pipe to the start positon. The 6th form students and school staff had to retrieve debris in the pipeline and bring it back to the start position.

The centres were at Carlisle, Workington, Kendal, Barrow, Lancaster, St Anne’s, Preston, Leyland, Accrington and Nelson. They all were acclaimed as being a great success or, as one observer put it, “The Technology Tournament this year scored a mole goal!”

The competition develops skills of teamwork and leadership, design and construction, planning and communication. School staff value the opportunity for the students to practice their technology skills in a competitive environment in an event that is superbly organised by the large team of dedicated and skilled Rotarians throughout our District.

“Thank you to all Rotary Clubs for their continued commitment to provide curriculum enrichment opportunities to young people. Other areas are not as fortunate as we are to have such an active Rotary. I was lucky enough to be at the final part of the afternoon on Friday. Rotary activities help young people to engage with experts from different fields in a range of different contexts. It gives them the chance to develop their social skills, meet new people and develop their skills in practical competitive situations.” Steve Haycocks, Headteacher, Balshaw’s CE High School, Leyland.

“All of our teams thoroughly enjoyed it and have taken a lot away from it.” David Dunlop, Head of Technology, Hutton Grammar School, south Preston.

We would like to thank BAE Systems for their generous sponsorship and the very many other organisations that help to make this event possible.