Getting afloat

Schoolchildren took part in the first ever Schools Marine Challenge winning prizes for themselves and their alma mater.  Organised by the British Marine Federation and Marine South East, the aim of the challenge is to introduce school children to the world of marine engineering.

Having spent the last few months designing and building solar powered, electric powered and petrol powered boats, the pupils came together at Aquasports’ Merstham Lake in Surrey to race against fellow pupils.

Winners included an overall prize for Isle of Wight College, teamwork award for Quilley School of Engineering and Oaklands won in the electric boat category.

Georgina Ritson, Lucy Shepherd, Rebecca McCarthy and Paige Morris from Rainham School for Girls, who were winners in the solar powered category.

Schools worked with local businesses and had local apprentices helping them design the boats.  Jonathan Williams, Marine South East Chief Executive, commented, ‘the quality of the boats that these young people designed was quite amazing, they have obviously worked incredibly hard to make their boats race winners.  This Challenge has given schools the chance to learn more about engineering and put their skills into practice, working alongside local companies.  I would like to congratulate the organisers and competing schools for their achievement.’

Sarah Dhanda, director of training at the British Marine Federation, said: “This is a practical and fun way of getting marine engineering as a career into the minds of school children. We also hope that local marine businesses will seize the opportunity to form longer term partnerships with their schools in order that children can continue to learn about marine businesses and the variety of career opportunities available.”

The schools were:
Springfield Technology College, Portsmouth    
Applemore College, Southampton
Cresswood College, Eastleigh  
Quilly School of Engineering, Eastleigh
Isle of Wight College, Newport
Sackville Community College, East Grinstead   
Dane Court Grammar, Broadstairs
Rainham School for Girls, Gillingham  
Oaklands Community School, Southampton
The Westgate School, Winchester

Winners List:
Overall Winners – Isle of Wight College
Race Positions –
Petrol Boats – Dane Court Grammar School
Electric Boats – Oaklands Community College
Solar Boats – Crestwood College
Technical Prizes –
IC Boats-
Hull & Superstructure – Isle of Wight College
Powertrain – Dane Court Grammar School
Electric Boats –
Hull & Superstructure – Oaklands Community College
Powertrain – Oaklands Community College
Solar Boats –
Hull & Superstructure – Rainham School for Girls
Powertrain – Dane Court Grammar School
Teamwork Prize – Quilley School of Engineering