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Schools' Powerboat Challenge 2017 takes to the water


QinetiQ has hosted the annual Schools’ Powerboat Challenge in which teams from local schools and sea cadets design, build and race remote control model powerboats.

MP for Gosport, Caroline Dinenage, talks to school pupils at Powerboat Challenge 2017

On Friday, 30 June 2017, thirteen schools and two sea cadet groups, comprising five students per team, competed in four heats, with the victors being put through their paces in a final race.

This annual competition takes place at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin at Haslar, and is organised and hosted by a group of the company’s graduates. This year’s event was attended by a number of VIPs, including Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, Lee on the Solent, Stubbington & Hill Head.

Andy Dinsdale, Senior Programme Manager, QinetiQ, said: “This event is a great way to get youngsters really excited and inspired about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). They use and gain a variety of skills when researching and building their model powerboat, in subjects such as naval architecture, physics and electronics.”

Part of the competition includes the creation of a poster describing their design process and explaining why they chose certain elements. Representatives from sponsors IMarEST, Royal Institution of Naval Architects, the Smallpeice Trust, the Royal Navy, and STEM Learning, examined the teams’ concepts before judging their boats and awarding prizes.

Chris Richardsen, Principal Consultant Experimental Hydrodynamics, QinetiQ, said: “The challenge provides a rare opportunity for the next generation of engineers and scientists to experience the technical challenges they will face during their careers. The event is always a great deal of fun, with more than a few boats colliding or sinking. It’s all part of the design process though, and really brings science and engineering to life.”;


Overall winners:
Carisbrooke College

Overall second:
Warsash Sea Cadets

Overall third:
Chamberlayne College for the Arts

Smallpeice Trust Best Engineering Award
Alton Convent School

IMarEST Innovation Award
Carisbrooke College

RINA Best Teamwork Award
Budmouth College

Best repair
Lord Wilson School

Best Poster
Highcliffe School

School pupils at the annual Schools’ Powerboat Challenge 2017 hosted by QinetiQ at Haslar