Hitchin student's team ski to victory in Swiss Alps

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By HitchinPeople | Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 15:28

A Hitchin school student was part of the winning team in a

nation-wide engineering competition which sees engineers and school children

travel to the Swiss Alps for an educational ski trip.

The annual event, ICE & Snow, is organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and combines skiing

with civil engineering. With the goal of helping youngsters gain a better

understanding and get some hands on experience of civil engineering. The event

forms part of ICE’s dedicated pre-19s programme to engage people at school age

in the profession.

More than 30 children participated in this year’s

competition. Teams were asked to construct a wind generator, a house and

produce sustainable energy, reflecting the pressing need to shift from a

reliance on fossil fuel energy generation to low carbon alternatives.

The winning team billed themselves Hurricane and included

local student Benjamin Reynolds (aged 7) from Kingshott School in Hitchin. His

team mates included students from Rutland, Maidstone and Kent.   

Team tutor, retired engineer Alan Davies said, “The scoring was

heavily weighted in favour of the performance of the wind generator, and

Hurricane's was by far the best in terms of speed and voltage generated. Given

the limited time available, and the fact that some of the equipment had to be

shared with other teams, this was a very good achievement.”

ICE organiser Richard Armstrong said the ICE & Snow

scheme is all about changing perceptions. “It is extremely important to create

an understanding of what civil engineering is all about among our youth if we

are to attract the right talent into the profession in later years. There are

some major challenges ahead that will rely on civil engineers coming up with

sustainable and innovative solutions; it is a very exciting time to become a

civil engineer. Hopefully by combining skiing with engineering challenges we

can show them it can be fun and maybe encourage some of them to consider it as

a career prospect.”



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