It’s been a great Summer term in the Design Engineering department. At A-Level our Design Engineering and Product Design pupils rose to the challenge, taking advantage of the open context allowing them to pursue projects tailored to their interests. This year contexts included: golfing training aids, aviation equipment, pet products, music equipment, sports injury management, maintenance equipment, bee keeping equipment and ergonomic solutions to support tea-farming workers. It was great to once again support such a breadth of projects across the year group. All pupils are to be commended for their impressive working prototypes.
At GCSE, the Design Engineers once again produced numerous high quality NEA (Non Examined Assessment) projects full of technical rigour. The pupils explored contexts including protection, transport schemes and pet care to develop and propose viable design solutions through the iterative design process. The work produced continues to impress us all – the pupils should be proud of their achievements.
Our Lower Sixth Design Engineers excelled this term by enjoying great success in the VEX Robotics Competition. The pupils learn the fundamentals of mechanisms, electronics and programming in the first two terms and directly apply this knowledge to build and program competitive robots. We entered two teams into the competition this year, 18650D and 18650E with both teams managing to secure places at both the National Finals followed by the World Championships, a fantastic achievement! It was a long road to success with multiple regional tournaments, including our own home event ending in narrow defeat in the finals before 18650D scooped a Tournament Champion award and were joined at the National Finals by team 18650E who also qualified through their individual Robot Skills score. Although both teams were unfortunately knocked out of the National Teamwork Finals both qualified for the World Championships via their impressive Robot Skills scores placing them fourth and fifth in the country. The team flew out to Dallas, Texas to represent the UK in the High School Division alongside four other teams from the UK. Our teams competed alongside 800 other teams from across the globe finishing 65th and 79th in their respective divisions. Congratulations to all team members involved who did the school proud.
We bid a fond farewell to Mr Gregor McMillan who leaves the school to take up a new position at the Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park. We express our immense thanks and gratitude for the five years of exemplary service Mr McMillan has given to both the department and wider school life. We all wish him and his family well in their future endeavours. Mr Shane Hill will be joining the department in September and will bring a wealth of overseas experience, adding a further dimension to the department.
The action will continue next year with Design Engineers competing in the VEX Robotics Competition, during priority times we will also be offering a new “Charitable Upcycling” initiative to raise funds charities so do keep an eye on our social media channels for further details. We will also be hosting national qualifying events for VEX Robotics at the senior school and a “Girl-Powered” robotics event with our Prep Schools. Be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram feeds @CranleighDesEng and the school website for updates!