On Thursday 13 July the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology Year 9 School Dustbin Windmill STEM Challenge Final was held at the EPIC Centre, Lincolnshire Showground.
This STEM Challenge was for Year 9 students to find out more about Wind as a power source and recycling. Teams had three months to design, build and test a windmill made from recycled materials and also submit a written paper reflecting on their employability skills used and developed during the challenge.
The Challenge started in April and the final brought together teams to have their windmills tested to see how much power they could produce and to test their design, build quality and use of recycled materials. The Challenge was offered by the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology in partnership with the STEM Ambassadors and Greater Lincolnshire LEP Careers Hub.
At the final last week, the schools brought their dustbin windmills and went through the final stages of the competition – assessing the aesthetics of the design; creative use of a wide variety of waste materials (the proportion of the build which uses recycled materials); build quality (ability to withstand high wind conditions); power generated across the range of wind speeds (connected to a circuit with 10Ω resistance) and ability to cope with changing direction (without manual intervention). Their scores together with their written assignment scores produced the winners:
1st Somercotes Academy (£500 prize to the school and £25 per student)
2nd Kesteven and Grantham Girls School (£100 prize to the school and £15 per student)
Joint 3rd Ambergate Sports Academy and Boston Grammar School (team 1). (£100 prize to each school and £15 per student)
Lincolnshire Institute of Technology (LIoT) is a partnership of the University of Lincoln, Grimsby Institute and University Centre, University Campus North Lincolnshire and North Lindsey College, Lincoln College, Grantham College and University Centre, Boston College, Riseholme College and Lincoln UTC.
The focus is on higher level skills with students studying Level 3 to level 6 manufacturing and engineering, agritech, construction, digital or motor vehicle qualifications. LIoT works with over 3000 employers in Lincolnshire and is particularly supported by Bakkavor, OAL and Siemens. The Institute is one of a small number of Institutes of Technology nationally, funded jointly by LIoT partners and the Department of Education.
Mick Lochran, LIoT Director, said: “This is the first Challenge Lincolnshire IoT has run and we have been delighted how successful it has been.
“We were really pleased with how many schools participated and that they have come from across the county. It has given students a real opportunity to research wind energy and recycling and to think about STEM careers for their future.
“It's been wonderful to see how creative the students have been and how much they have enjoyed the challenge; the final was great fun as well as very competitive.”
Today’s major worldwide challenges include waste management and green energy. How do we minimise the generation of waste and recycle any waste we create? How do we move to environmentally safe generation of energy and minimise our carbon footprint and hence our impact on the world’s climate? These challenges are being faced by governments and industry globally and specifically within Lincolnshire.
Fantastic employment opportunities are available within the sectors and it is vital that young people develop a sound awareness of the types of job roles available. Engineering, construction including civil engineering, and a full range of support roles are based with employers in our region as well as across the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and the North East.
Find out more about our Lincolnshire IoT.