The UK’s aluminium industry is on the search for the designers and engineers of the future as it launches this year’s Alu D&T Challenge. Secondary schools throughout the UK are invited to take part in the Challenge which aims to teach 11-14 year olds about sustainable design. The Challenge includes an opportunity for students to enter their ideas in a national competition for a chance to win prizes for themselves and their school.
The Alu D&T Challenge supports the D&T curriculum for 11-14 year olds. It provides free lesson plans and a range of interactive materials to explain the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium. Students can attempt one of three design briefs to create a sustainable building, vehicle or package using aluminium.
Developed and funded by the UK aluminium industry, the Alu D&T Challenge’s design briefs are based on real-life challenges faced by designers who need to meet consumer demands with products that don’t have a negative impact on the environment. Designs will be judged on how well they address the ‘6Rs’ of sustainability, as well as their creativity and the use of aluminium. The competition is open for entries throughout the autumn term and winners will be announced in March 2018.
Students can enter in teams of up to four people, or as an individual. In each category there will be a winner and runner up, chosen by a panel of experts representing the fields of engineering, design, manufacturing and architecture. They will be invited to a prize giving ceremony in March 2018.
Among the industry sponsors Alupro members Novelis continue their support of the competition for a fifth year. Andy Doran, Senior Manager – Sustainability and Recycling Development says: “For Novelis the competition is a valuable opportunity to teach students about Aluminium and challenge them to think creatively about how we can use materials to reduce our impact on the environment. I’ve been a judge of the competition since it started in 2012 and never cease to be impressed by the amazing, practical and ingenious ideas the students come up with.”
This year’s prizes have been sponsored by specialist D&T equipment provider Technology Supplies. The winners will receive innovative equipment for their school’s D&T department, including programming kits and drones, plus vouchers for the students. All finalists will receive a named certificate and a 3D pen. Events and PR Manager of Technology Supplies Rebecca Byrne says: “We are delighted to be the official prize sponsor for the Alu D&T Challenge 2017. Fast changing technologies, industry challenges and demands mean that it’s imperative to ensure we are embracing tomorrow’s designers and engineers. Supporting initiatives like the Alu D&T Challenge enables us to celebrate creativity, innovation and the importance of product development.”
The 2017/18 resource booklet and information about the competition is available to download for free at learningaluminium.co.uk/aludtchallenge.