The UK aluminium industry is inviting secondary school pupils to take up the Alu D&T Challenge. Schools participating in this competition linked to the Design & Technology curriculum benefit from free teaching resources, which encourage pupils to explore sustainable design and have their ideas judged by a panel of industry experts.
The Alu D&T Challenge helps teach pupils about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium – an infinitely recyclable material. Young designers are encouraged to realise the contribution aluminium makes to the world we live in through learning materials which show the use of aluminium in a wide variety of applications and products; from smartphones to cars, drink cans to buildings.
The competition is part of a free online teaching resource which has been developed by the UK aluminium industry and its customers. The online resource contains lesson plans, design briefs, stimulus sheets and guidance for teachers, and supports the D&T curriculum for 11-14 year olds throughout the UK. This year’s competition sets challenges based on real-life briefs faced by designers, engineers and manufacturers in three categories – transport, building and packaging. The aim is to inspire students to get creative and design a product for the future, using aluminium.
Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges from across industry, the sponsoring organisations and academics. The winning student and team in each of the three design challenges will win a desktop 3D printer (worth £600) for their school, plus £100 in vouchers. In addition prizes will be awarded to runners up and finalists.
Every school entry and finalist will be recognised with a D&T Challenge certificate and the winners and their teachers will be invited to a celebration and prize-giving event in February 2016 at Thinktank Science Museum, in Birmingham.
In addition, the individual designer voted the judges’ favourite will win a trip to Germany, including a visit to the Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products facility at Grevenbroich, near Dusseldorf. The plant, which employs over 2,000 people, is the company’s largest aluminium production site in Germany, producing 440,000 tonnes of aluminium annually for customers including in the packaging, automotive and construction industries.
Diana Caldwell, Marketing and Communications Manager of Alupro explains: “The first two years of the Alu D&T Challenge saw over 1200 students around the UK submit designs in the competition and we had some really creative ideas and very inspirational winners. We are hoping for more of the same this year! We’re excited about the range of support the Challenge has had from across industry, which has invested a great deal in making the design briefs interesting and rewarding for both teachers and students.”
The Learning Aluminium website has everything teachers need to get involved, including suggestions for using the resources in lessons or as part of a STEM Club or homework project. There is no entry fee and no limit to the number of entries a school can submit. Schools have all autumn term to work on their entries, which need to be submitted via the website or by post before 22nd December 2015.
The resources and full details of the competition are available online at www.learningaluminium.co.uk/aludtchallenge.