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Key Stage 4 MADE Competition 2018

Image of MADE project
Abbie, Jenson, Alex and Mr Evans

The Key Stage 4 MADE Manufacturing Challenge is a new Engineering competition run by the Torbay Development Agency – MADE stands for Manufacturing Activities Designed to Engage. The MADE Manufacturing Challenge is intended to inspire, motivate and engage students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning.

Five schools in Torbay, including The Spires College, took part in the challenge. Each school had a partner engineering company acting as their business mentor and supporting them through the challenge activity. Gooch and Housego was our business mentor. G&H are a global leader in photonics technology who have a site in Torbay, as well as many other sites globally. Matt and Lewis, two G&H engineers, visited the Year 10 BTEC Engineering group several weeks ago to explain to the students their company’s products and services. G&H then set us a challenge to design and manufacture a single eye-catching display product that represents G&H. The final solution had to be able to be used as part of a trade stand. Also, the design had to use an INPUT-PROCESS-OUTPUT electronic system via a programmable integrated circuit.

All of the Year 10 engineering students sketched ideas and the G&H engineers chose the winning design from the wide range of possibilities that the students generated. The winning design was a G&H sites interactive world map. The LEDs on the map flash randomly to grab the attention of potential customers. When any one of the push-to make switches above the three types of site lists is pressed the relevant LEDs will stay on to highlight where the manufacturing sites, sales offices or headquarters are located for the G&H staff to discuss with clients. Once the manufacturing, sales or headquarter sites have been discussed, pressing any of the push-to- make switches will return the map to the random flashing mode.

Four Year 10 BTEC Engineering students, including Abbie, Jenson and Alex, then developed and produced the interactive map. As part of the development stage the students designed and produced a circuit, the map using 2D Design software and the laser cutter and designed the flowchart used to program the integrated circuit.

The four students, along with Matt and Lewis from G&H, presented the design at the KS4 MADE Manufacturing Challenge Finals at the English Riviera Centre on 12 December to a panel of three judges along with teams from other local schools.  Their presentation included PowerPoint slides with verbal commentary by the students and a discussion about their design with the judges. The judges were very impressed with the product and how well the students presented and discussed their solution. On this occasion we did not win the competition overall, but the students were awarded with certificates to acknowledge their contribution to the event and the G&H engineers have taken one of the interactive G&H sites display boards with them to use at trade events.

The students have developed a lot of real-world engineering skills and developed their presentation skills enormously by taking part in the competition and we congratulate all who took part.  We also thank Mr Evans for organising the college's involvement in this competition and for his support of the students involved throughout the process.