First Prize to Saint Paul’s in the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge

September 2017

A group of students from Saint Paul’s won first prize in the Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge after competing with 21 schools from around Manchester.

Students from Key Stage 3 were involved in teams of four are taking part in a creative, practical and team building challenge to design and build a working rollercoaster. Using their STEM skills, a supplied kit and with a bit of help from Siemens mentors they came with up with some amazing designs

Miss Rachel Broadbent, Science Teacher, said: “During our time at Siemens we were introduced to our mentor who is an engineer at Siemens. We were also given a Knex kit to build our own rollercoaster at school. The final for the challenge was a fantastic event and we were delighted when they awarded us the First Prize!”

“Our aim was to build the fastest and most innovative rollercoaster model and we worked on the model during our STEM club on Wednesdays after school.”

The Saint Paul’s team of engineers also produced a video showing the evolution of their rollercoaster which was judged alongside their model.

Whilst at Siemens, the students also had the opportunity to explore the Siemens marketplace. Here the students were able to experience virtual reality aboard a North Sea platform, design a computer generated rollercoaster and power a model village using a hairdryer.

“Our students have done a huge amount of work. They have learnt how to construct using K’nex, the TARDIS was made using the lazer cutter and 2D design, we programmed LED’s using circuit boards and we made the TARDIS rotate using a hand crank shaft and friction!,” explained Miss Broadbent.  “The TARDIS was very well received and brought back memories for the Lord Mayor who remembers the very first episode of Dr Who.”

“As part of the project students will achieve a Bronze Award with the Industrial Cadets which is an organisation inspired by Prince Charles when he visited Tata Steel in Teeside.”

We team received a huge number of positive comments including:

‘Your students are a credit to the school’ – fellow teacher in the competition
‘Not only can they build an amazing rollercoaster but they are able to sell it’ – BASF representative

‘You should submit this to Alton Towers’ – Primary school teacher

“The Roller-Coaster Challenge is a fantastic initiative which aims to stimulate an interest in science and engineering as a career,” explained Mr Alex Hren, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “All the teams produced outstanding results and we were extremely proud of the students. This was a superb opportunity for our students to experience teamwork and work with an Engineer mentor from Siemens.”

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