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Children enjoy design experience

PUBLISHED: 18:48 17 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

KEYRINGS, anti-theft devices and spicy sausages were just some of the things on order as two Ipswich high schools came together for a design experience.

KEYRINGS, anti-theft devices and spicy sausages were just some of the things on order as two Ipswich high schools came together for a design experience.

Six teams of students from Copleston and Holywells had been given three afternoons to come up with a design for a product that would solve market problems.

And after presenting their products to a panel of judges and their parents at Copleston the winners of the Engineering Employers Federation Technology Experience Competition were announced.

The successful team were 15-year-olds Clare Slinn, George Blanchard, Kirsty Danko and Matthew Pollard who made up Tasty Bites.

They had worked together to design a new sausage for today's market and were thrilled at beating off the competition to be presented with a Croydon's Trophy upon which their team name will be engraved.

Clare said: "The most popular sausage we thought about was the mushroom and garlic sausage but the sample didn't turn out very nice so we decided together to go for the spicy sausage instead.

"We started off smoothly but to the end of the project we were a bit rushed.

"We worked really well together though and all chipped in. There were no arguments."

More than 90 students were originally involved in the competition and a team building exercise at Holywells was the first step in letting them get to know the people with who they were working.

The challenge was not only to design a project, make a prototype and present it to the judges, it was about working with new people. Friendships, and even the odd relationship, were established during the competition.

Both Holywells and Copleston were pleased with the way the students had successfully worked together and the eventual standard of the projects produced.

Mike Hardman, from the Technology Department at Copleston, organised the competition which is in its fifth year, and said: "The students have worked very hard on a range of real life challenges that involve designing and making products to solve market problems.

"Neighbourhood engineers and advisers from local businesses have helped the students who have learned a great deal from the experience. And they have had fun too."

Past winning designs have included a piece of Olympic swimwear and a new orange drink.

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