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Powerboat Challenge 2022


Conrad Manning

We once again recently hosted the annual Schools’ Powerboat Challenge in which teams from local schools are asked to design, build and race remote control model powerboats.

On Friday 1st July QinetiQ hosted their annual Powerboat Challenge at its Haslar facility for the 12thth time, with school children from 11 different schools in the local region and surrounding areas taking part. The event was run by the Haslar and PTP Local STEM community with support from QinetiQ’s early careers team.

The event has given the children valuable STEM experience by allowing them to create and engineer their own powerboat ready for competition. The event allowed the children the opportunity to speak with professionals from QinetiQ, The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Maritime UK, British Marine and more, where the children were able to converse about careers in fields such as science, engineering, mathematics and project management.


Lorna Wagner, Programme Manager (Careers and Outreach) at Maritime UK said “I’m struck by the variety and diversity in the designs. I’ve really enjoyed talking to the children about the process and how they made their design decisions. I’m delighted to see so many girls here, who are obviously bossing it at STEM, which is fantastic. The collaboration between the teams is amazing and how the different teams are supporting each other and congratulating one another. Its extraordinary seeing STEM in action. It’s also really lovely seeing the teachers with them, who are just as excited as them.”

Sam Healy QinetiQ Group CR director added “As a significant STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) employer, we know first-hand how exciting and rewarding it is to work in this field. Our outreach programme provides an opportunity for young people to experience STEM activities, bringing to life what they are learning and connecting with real world applications. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to meet and talk to scientists and engineers, which they may not normally do - and we get to share our enthusiasm for STEM and know that we are having a positive impact on our communities. The world needs more scientist and engineers to help solve the big challenges of the future, such as tackling climate change; so outreach is a great way to inspire the next generation to consider a career in STEM.”



1st – Eggars School

2nd – Weston Secondary School

3rd – Farnham Heath End School

Judges award presented by Sally Toogood – Bournemouth School for Girls

Industry award presented by Jaime Perez-Martinez - Farnham Heath End School

Best presentation presented by Captain Jo Deakin - Bournemouth School for Girls

Perseverance award presented by Captain Sophie Shaughnessy - Brune Park

Participating Schools:

  • Bay House School
  • Bournemouth School for Girls
  • Brune Park
  • Eggars School
  • Farnham Heath End School
  • Portsmouth Academy
  • The Henry Beaufort School
  • The Highcliffe School
  • The Polygon School
  • UTC Portsmouth
  • Weston Secondary School

Sally Toogood, Head of Mechanical Engineering at QinetiQ and one of the judges on the day said “I had an amazing day at the Schools Powerboat challenge. The children were all very passionate about their boats and had put a huge amount of effort into their design and construction. There were a few tweaks to their designs in between races to make them even faster which was great to see. Hopefully the day has shown them how exciting a career in engineering can be and has inspired them to consider a career in engineering in the future.”

Sean Archibald an engineering teacher at UTC Portsmouth added “Events like this are a great opportunity for the students to show what they learn within engineering and design technology. This is a very impressive site, especially for the students to see this for the first time as it might encourage them to go down this route with one of our employee partners.”