The competition is a priority for ICE president, Peter Hansford, who is focusing on skills development and retention during his presidential year.
Studying for a degree in engineering requires a school level education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, so engaging pre-19s is vital to ensuring new talent is attracted into the profession.
This Challenge focuses on groups of 12-13 year olds with the brief of designing a sports venue of the future.
The Duston School team’s model of ‘The Nene Valley Stadium’ of a multi-purpose sports venue features a design in a rugby ball shape with a curved roof.
The model includes a rolling pitch or ‘baking tray’, a 100 metre long, 30cm high 60 metre wide metal container that houses a grass pitch suitable for football, rugby and American football, this can be rolled out to feature hard courts suitable for tennis, badminton and basketball.
This could also be used for concerts, condferences and trade fairs when not in use as a sports ground.
As part of the process, the children were also asked to include a full project report. The judging panel of civil engineering experts from the region were particularly impressed with the thoroughness of this report which considered details including:
• Environmental sustainability and wildlife habitat issues;
• Energy usage;
• Technical issues, such as the stresses in construction;
• Health and safety issues.
Sam Wade, the teacher leading the project said: “I am absolutely delighted, our pupils put in a lot of hard work and did a lot of research on the project.
“They seriously considered issues including sustainability and community uses for the venue. I am very proud of their effords and all they have achieved.”
The team were supported in the competition by ambassadors from Jackson Civil Engineering, who advised on the design and details to consider in the report.
Highly commended was Boston High School, Boston Lincolnshire, with their design of a swimming pool featuring a honeycomb design. The judges were impressed with the way their report considered issues including light pollution and tackling the issue of obesity.
Also awarded certificates in the competition were Dukeries College, New Ollerton, who submitted three entries: Bumble Bee Bowling, Quick Quads and Oblivion. All of which had innovative and imaginative designs offering quad biking, and bowling.
Fernwood School, Wollaton, Nottingham, were also commended for their design for a disabled sports facility in Nottingham, which made use of sustainable technologies, including a ground source heat pump, wind turbines and use of insulation.
Professor John Pike, who presented the awards on behalf of the Institution of Civil Engineers, commented: “Congratulations to the team from the Duston School on winning the ICE East Midlands Create Sport Challenge with their design, which pushed the boundaries of science, engineering and design to the limits.
“Congratulations too, to all of the teams for taking part; all of the models were superb, making the judges’ task very difficult. The talent shown by the region’s pupils has shown that innovation is alive and well and thriving with the young people of the East Midlands.”
Regional finalists will be shortlisted and six of these will take part in the national final being held at ICE headquarters in London, in June.
The winning teams will be eligible for a range of prizes including exclusive visits to major sports and engineering sites, cash and signed memorabilia. For more information, visit: www.createsport.org.uk.