Brunel 200 Legacy Rolls-Royce – Interschools Competition
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Rolls-Royce Inter-schools Competition

“The invention was nothing. The achievement was making the thing work”
Sir Frank Whittle

Rolls-Royce plc is a global power systems company providing power for land, sea and air, with leading positions in civil aerospace, defence, marine and energy markets. Their core technology is the gas turbine, which Sir Frank Whittle developed leading up to, during and after the Second World War.

The Rolls-Royce Brunel 200 Inter-School Competition was one of many Community Projects in the Bristol and South-Gloucestershire area, which Rolls-Royce participated in. Teams of young engineers from Rolls Royce, helped children build gliders (Flying Start Challenge) and took them on a tour of engineering & technology (High Flyers). They produced a comprehensive information pack that encouraged students to become involved in design, innovation, engineering and science. This resource can be found online in the Education section.

Based in Filton, Bristol, Rolls-Royce has been a strong supporter of the Brunel 200 project, and continues to support Bristol Cultural Development Partnership initiatives.

During 2006, Rolls-Royce was keen to get involved with the schedule of activity, not least because of the links between Brunel’s spirit of invention and inventiveness, and their own work in apprenticeships, associate graduate schemes and education.

The inter-schools competition took place at BAWA Leisure Club in July 2006, and proved to be exciting for all the students that took part. In total, the Rolls-Royce Brunel 200 team were hosts to just over 300 guests over the two-day event, which included students from schools across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

A poster competition, open to years 1 to 4 (ages 5 to 9), was a big success with over 500 posters submitted from schools across Bristol. However the team had to narrow down the finalists to 150 who were invited to attended the event. The judges were made up of Richard Beasley, Head of Systems & Programme Engineering at Rolls Royce, Andrew Kelly, Director of Brunel 200 and Pat Ward, a Design Technology teacher and also an artist.

The finalists’ posters were displayed at the event and judges had a difficult task of choosing the winners! Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were given to each year group as well as a set of special awards, and the overall winner.

Mr Brunel put in an appearance, and answered questions from the children whilst judging took place.

Exhibitions were brought in from At-Bristol as well as a model of the Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine to illustrate to students how the engine was made, providing a hands-on experience and a chance to ask questions.

A further competition was held on the following day, open to children from years 5 to 9 (ages 9 to 14), who were asked to design and make a boat, which had to fit a specification proposed by the Rolls-Royce Brunel 200 team.

Boats were then judged against how well they matched the specification put forward, as well as their performance in a race. In order for the race to go ahead, a large enough pool had to be sourced. Steve Griffin, the Fire Chief at Airbus provided a pool containing 6,000 litres of water (pictured); judges for the race were James McLeod, Chief Engineer – Pegasus and Dave Branch, Chief Engineer – MT30.

Two overall winners each received a bundle of prizes, including a figurine of Brunel, a cheque for £500 for their school’s Design Technology departments, tickets for the student’s class to see Concorde, a signed poster of Wallace and Gromit, as well as Rolls-Royce merchandise.