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RAL Faraday Challenge

23 January 2019

It’s not every day science students can step outside the classroom to go and solve a real-life engineering problem.

The exciting Faraday Challenge returned to Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) for the sixth year. Six teams of year 8 students from six schools battled it out to design, create and promote the best engineering solution to a mystery problem. All tasks were genuine, real-life engineering problems.

This year the challenge focussed on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) worked with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to develop the challenge, one of the many educational projects linked to the JWST project.

The winning team, John Mason School from Abingdon, secured a place on the national league table, where the top five teams will go forward to the National Final in July 2019.

The successful five teams are treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC) at The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, where part of the JWST was designed and built. The winning team will pocket £1000 to take back to their school to spend on STEM activities.

“Students who take part in the Faraday Challenge Days this year will experience working as an engineer through hands-on and practical engagement with real-life challenges relating to the James Webb Space Telescope,” IET Faraday Education Manager, Natalie Clerke, said.

The Faraday Challenge is run by the IET, and STFC is a sponsor and host of the event.

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Last updated: 25 February 2019


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