We run this tournament for secondary schools in Aylesbury Vale who can enter teams at three levels – usually we have 30 teams. The task is the same for all age groups; however there are three levels of difficulty – Basic (for students at Key Stage 3), Intermediate (for students at Key Stage 4) and Advanced (for students at Key Stage 5). Teachers who attend the event with their students are joined together in teams of four to tackle the Advanced level task.
Five local clubs – ourselves, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Haddenham & District and Winslow – work together to organise and fund the task which is held annually at Aylesbury College to whom we are grateful for their continued support. In the past we have benefited from sponsorship from Mitie Engineering Company, Jacobs Babtie, Aylesbury Vale District Council and Aylesbury Town Council.
The tasks are set in conjunction with school technology advisors to meet national curriculum requirements and students taking part gain academic merits for their schools and for themselves. Each team knows nothing about the task until they arrive at the beginning of a normal school day; they work as a team, evaluating, designing, constructing and demonstrating the task set using a fixed amount of materials. At the end of the day, each team has solved the problem and it can be guaranteed that no two solutions are the same but each has worked – some maybe better than others. Certificates are presented to each student; prizes are given to the top three teams with the school of the winning team at each task level also benefiting from a cash prize. The teachers in their winning team are also suitably rewarded. This competition helps the students build confidence, team-working skills and much more.