QinetiQ holds 5th Schools’ Powerboat Challenge

28 May 2014

Annual event takes place in Gosport with support of local MP

Portsmouth, 28 May 2014: Teams from 13 schools across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, competed against each other in the ‘QinetiQ Schools’ Powerboat Challenge’ on 23rd May, held at QinetiQ’s world-class ocean basin facility at Haslar, Gosport. Each team designed and built their own powerboat, with Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, presenting teams with their prizes.

Winners of the 5th QinetiQ School’s Powerboat Challenge, Carisbrooke College, with the Mayor of Gosport

Now in its fifth year, the ‘QinetiQ Schools’ Powerboat Challenge’ asks pupils aged between 12 and 15 to design, build and race their own model powerboat, providing them with hands on experience and an understanding of using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the maritime industry.

Each team was initially provided with a pack containing standard propulsion parts and design briefs back in January. The youngsters and their teachers then spent the coming months working as naval architects to create their own fully operating powerboat. Each team had to balance criteria including size, speed, weight and stability, whilst ensuring the boats are safe to operate. QinetiQ naval architects were on hand to provide support and guidance to the teams throughout the design and build process.

After months of hard work, the schools came together for an exciting day of racing at the impressive ocean basin facility, with a panel of judges from QinetiQ looking for winners in a number of categories such as innovation, teamwork and endeavor.

Caroline Dinenage MP said: “I’m pleased to have been able to come and support the QinetiQ Schools’ Powerboat Challenge in its 5th year. The event provides a fun and engaging challenge for pupils to use STEM skills but also highlights the importance of perseverance, teamwork and creativity. With events like this, and QinetiQ’s leading role in The 5% Club campaign, I have been very impressed with the company’s commitment to providing opportunities for young people and in driving STEM related careers.”

Sarah Kenny, Managing Director, QinetiQ Maritime, said; “Events like the Powerboat Challenge are an integral part of our STEM programme. The challenge helps apply lessons in science, math’s and technology in a fun and rewarding environment, using our expertise within industry to encourage more young people to consider STEM subjects and future careers in this area. As the founding member of The 5% Club our vision is to invest in a generation and provide opportunities and inspiration for future engineers and scientists.”

The 5% Club campaign is a nationwide campaign urging companies across the UK to commit to 5% of their workforce being apprentices, graduates or placement students on a formalised training programme within five years and publicly state their progress.

The schools involved in the QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge this year, include:

  • Chamberlayne College for the Arts, Southampton
  • Crofton School, Fareham
  • Bay House School and Sixth Form, Gosport
  • Bournemouth School
  • Carisbrooke College, Isle of Wight
  • Henry Cort Community College, Fareham
  • Hamble Community Sports College, Southampton
  • Lord Wilson School, Southampton
  • Bournemouth School for girls
  • Budmouth College, Weymouth
  • Beaminster school, Dorset
  • Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy
  • Brune Park, Gosport

Notes for Editors:

A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.
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QinetiQ holds 5th Schools’ Powerboat Challenge