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Peterborough’s only dedicated STEM school, Greater Peterborough UTC, saw Year 13 Engineering students Beck Morgan, Joshua Miranda, Jack Parker and Aron Allport announced as the winners of this year’s Royal Navy Engineering Challenge. 

The prestigious challenge, held in partnership with Eaton Ltd, Babcock and BAE Systems, invited school groups to design and build a remote-controlled vessel to deliver humanitarian aid to a hurricane-hit island. GPUTC’s team walked away with three awards: the Overall Prize, Key Stage 5 Overall Prize  and the Key Stage 5 Presentation Prize.  

The competition aims to inspire young people to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM subjects) in real-world contexts. This year, over 60 teams from schools across the country entered the challenge, which began in late 2019. After initial knock-out rounds, only 15 teams remained to go onto the finals. These were due to take place in March, but were delayed by the coronavirus lockdown. The Challenge finally resumed again recently, with events being filmed by the Royal Navy at HMS Sultan in Portsmouth and shared with the competing schools.  

The GPUTC Team received some amazing feedback from the judges for the ‘high quality’ of their technical drawing, their use of computer software to illustrate their design concept and their ‘brilliant’ and confidently delivered presentation. The vessel was also highly complimented for its systems redundancy and maneuverability, with the container unloading system also gaining praise as both the most efficient and fastest by a significant margin. As a result, team Greater Peterborough UTC received the highest score of 58 out of 70 points. 

Team member Beck Morgan (who studies BTEC Engineering, A Level Maths and A Level Physics) commented: “We were amazed and very proud to have won the competition. Thank you to the Navy for making it all possible.”  

Joshua Miranda (who studies BTEC Engineering, A Level Maths and A Level Physics) said "my favourite part about the experience was the circuitry and the usage of wireless communication, as these relate greatly to my desired university course in Electrical and Electronic Engineering." 

Jack Parker (who studies BTEC Engineering and A Level Computer Science) told us how the challenge was “an opportunity to prepare” for his post 18 destination choice of the Royal Navy accelerated weapon engineering apprenticeship due to its focus on creative problem solving. 

Aron Allport (who studies BTEC Engineering and A Level Product Design) enjoyed the opportunity to take part in something beyond classroom learning, saying “I really enjoyed the experience of working with our sponsors, The Royal Navy”. 

Supervising teacher, Mark Jarrett (Teacher of Engineering), said ‘I am immensely proud of the team, not only for winning the competition but also for the manner in which they conducted themselves in a challenging year. In spite of setbacks, the team powered through and overcame the multiple obstacles that both the competition and Covid presented.  The team embraced our GPUTC core values and demonstrated great resilience as well as engineering excellence to successfully get the task done.’