The annual Whitby Endeavour Rotary Club young engineers’ competition has taken place with the support of a grant from the Sirius Minerals Foundation.
Over 20 primary school students, aged 10 and 11, from seven schools in the Whitby area took part in the project, which involved designing and building a miniature working lighthouse.
The teams, from St Hilda’s, St Hedda’s, Airy Hill, Castleton, Seton, Ruswarp and Glaisdale schools, spent several months each constructing a lighthouse in preparation for showcasing during a testing day at the Robinson Institute in Glaisdale.
The entries were judged by volunteers from the H.M Coastguard in Staithes, who gave a presentation about water safety, and prizes for the winners and runners up were awarded by a representative from Sirius Minerals.
The ‘sea-themed’ event marked the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first expedition to the South Seas from Whitby.
Chris Overton, President of the Whitby Endeavour Rotary Club and a former school teacher in the area said: “The lighthouse testing day was fantastic event and a wonderful opportunity for schools to get together.”
“Because of the smaller size of some of the primary schools, teaching STEM subjects can be quite a challenge, so we were delighted with the high standard of entrants which really showcased the fantastic skills of young people in the area. Choosing a winner was not easy, but Seton Community Primary School in Staithes took the prize”, she said.
“We would like to thank the Sirius Minerals Foundation for the grant, which enabled us to purchase the building materials, build kits, and trophies for the students to take part”, she added.
The Whitby Endeavour Rotary Club was one of seventy-five local charities, educational establishments and community groups which shared a pot of around £300,000 as part of the Foundation’s first round of funding. Future rounds, funded by an annual royalty of 0.5% of sales from the mine, could be as much as £13 million at full production.
David Archer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Sirius Minerals Foundation said:
“We are delighted that the grant has been used to help enrich the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) curriculum in local schools and we hope the competition has helped to inspire the next generation of engineers
The Sirius Minerals Foundation is a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Charity number: 1163127