13 October 2022

Abingdon Science Partnership hosted a Faraday Challenge Day for six schools in the OX14 Learning Partnership with teams competing for a trophy on the day as well as a ranking in the national competition league tables.

The Faraday Challenge is run by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and sponsored each year by a large engineering organisation. The 2022-23 Challenge is linked to the UK Research Institutions’ Future Flight Challenge and the OX14 event was supported by GKN Automotive’s Innovation Centre in Abingdon. GKN generously paid for the entry fee and sent two of their engineering undergraduate placement students along to help run the event.

During the day, the teams of six Year 8 pupils from each school set about designing a prototype of their solution to the engineering problem they were asked to solve, without any help from teaching staff. The exact problem cannot be revealed as other schools are yet to compete in the Challenge, but each of the teams showed determination and imagination in solving it. At the end of the afternoon, each team had to make a formal presentation on their idea to the rest of the teams and face a grilling from the national Challenge Leader from IET who ran the event.

All six local teams from Abingdon School, Abingdon Prep, SHSK, John Mason, Larkmead and Fitzharrys, did really well, presenting ingenious ideas with working model prototypes, but the worthy winners on the day were the team from Fitzharrys. Our thanks to everyone involved in making the Challenge day happen – the pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed the event and are very keen to see this become an annual fixture in the OX14 calendar.

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