Dangerous Chemicals lifted to Safety by Local Students

The Rotary Club of Cirencester recently staged its annual Technology Tournament 2019 at Cirencester College sponsored by the Cirencester based Corin Group.

Seven teams, from the College, Deer Park School plus a Teacher’s team competed to demonstrate their ability to meet the annual challenge designed by Rotary UK. 


This year’s task, asked the competing teams to build a fully functional model crane to retrieve a canister of dangerous chemical, represented by cardboard tube, from a derailed railway truck and carry it a position of safety without touching it. Not easy requiring careful measurement, an electric motor, a magnetic hook and a strong wooden structure and a lot of glue.


The first the participants knew of the task was when they opened an envelope at their workplace. Under the watchful eyes of the competition judges they were asked to decide, as a team, what they considered their best solution to be before they started building anything and to record their ideas and designs in a written portfolio which accounted for 50% of the marks. When they had finished building their crane they had the opportunity to test it on a purpose built test-rig and to make any modifications to improve it’s performance and their final solutions were then tested and closely assessed by the judges.

A variety of designs met with a significant degree of success but what was impressive was the diversity of the designs and the innovation. No two solutions were the same despite the fact that each team was issued with the same package of materials.


There were two levels of difficulty of task – the Foundation Task, won by Team Etihad, from Deer Park and the Advanced Task won by Team 10 from Cirencester College but the principal objective of the day was for all the contestants to enjoy themselves and judging by the feedback from them this was achieved. Teachers also regard the competition highly because it enables their pupils to say “working in a team I discussed, documented and delivered a project” which is a plus in any working environment and is a valuable addition to a CV or at an interview.


The Rotary Club of Cirencester are very grateful to Cirencester College for both fielding teams to compete and for hosting the  event in their excellent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Centre and to the Corin Group for funding the event and for providing one of the judges. 

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