The Assumption Grammar School in Ballynahinch pupils were runners up in a Northern Ireland wide engineering competition hosted by Newry-based Resonate Testing and have won a trip to the UK Space Agency. Our Lady’s Grammar School from Newry were the winners.
The ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ competition, which was endorsed by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), invited pupils aged 14-16 from across Northern Ireland to demonstrate their STEM skills by designing and building a cantilever structure representative of an Aircraft wing box.
The structure was then set up on the Resonate Testing vibration system and exposed to a 20G vibration environment. Newry’s Our Lady’s Grammar School’s structure won by lasting the full test duration and being the lightest of the surviving structures – and they were announced as the inaugural ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’ champions.
Michael Thompson, General Manager at Resonate Testing said: “Resonate loved hosting the ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ competition because it gave us the opportunity to see how enthusiastic and skilled our young people are when it comes to engineering.
:Students rose to the challenge at our Newry facility, demonstrating their understanding of the importance of testing in product development for structural integrity issues such as vibration, weight and strength. Well done to all schools who took part – they inspire the next generation of talented technicians and engineers, who are vital for the long term success of our business and the sector locally.”
According to recent government figures, the UK space industry contributes £13.7bn to the economy each year and supports tens of thousands of jobs. Working closely with Invest Northern Ireland, Aerospace, Defence and Security Industries NI, CCEA developed a new Level 2 Space Science Technology qualification to give learners aged 14-16 the necessary skills and expertise needed in Northern Ireland’s growing space industry.
Justin Edwards, CCEA’s CEO said: “I would like to congratulate each school and their students for their dedication and inventiveness in designing their structures for this challenge. One of the main units in our Level 2 qualification in Space Science Technology, focuses on the role of the aerospace industry (specifically in Northern Ireland) and how it impacts the local and global economies.
“Students learn about composite materials and their application within aerospace technologies. I was delighted to see students demonstrating these skills and knowledge in a controlled scenario at the Resonate Testing Ltd facilities.”
Our Lady’s Grammar School’s efforts have gained them a trip to the UK Space Agency in Harlow, England. The prize will be formally presented at a prize-giving ceremony in the near future.