Among the diverse aims of Rotary is to support the local community, and to improve the personal development and skills of individuals. These skills and qualities are often badly needed by industry, which requires innovative employees.

Considering the importance of the engineering industry in the Mid-Ulster area, the members of Dungannon and Cookstown Rotary Clubs held a Technology Tournament in South West College in Dungannon on the 8th March 2018.

The event was attended by eleven teams from Secondary schools from the Dungannon area.  The teams had to tackle a task, about which they, and their teachers, know nothing about until the day.  They were required to design, develop, build and then test a specified model from the very limited resources supplied, such as strip wood, dowel, paper clips, tape, wire, cardboard, glue, elastic bands and so on.  The results were judged by a panel consisting of an Engineer from AES Global, Shirley Patterson, STEM Centre Co-ordinator and a judge from Sentius.

This year the task required the teams to design, construct and test a launching device, complete with a remotely operated trigger mechanism.  This should enable the capsule to rise vertically above 3m. In addition, the capsule needed to carry a parachute that opened to allow descent as close as possible to the point of lift off. 

Dean Maguirc College winners of Rotary Technology Tournament

Dean Maguirc College students pictured receiving their award.

The tournament was a challenge, but an enjoyable and rewarding experience for those taking part. An interesting and fun day out was guaranteed for all students, which also tested their knowledge, ingenuity, innovation, application, manual skills and their ability to work in a team.  This year’s winners were from Dean Maguirc College.

The day was possible thanks to sponsorship from a number of sources including  South West College, Sentinus, and Quinn Fresh as well as the involvement of schools and their students, and the Rotarians who took part in the running of the event.

You can get an idea of the 'buzz' at the competition from the video below!