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Youngsters to tackle new Cargo Carrier Challenge.

Byline: Andy Rush

PRIMARY school classrooms across the area are set to become boatbuilding design centres over the coming months as budding young engineers take on the 2018 3M Young Innovators Challenge.

One of the six categories in this year's competition is the new Cargo Carrier Challenge.

This tasks primary school pupils with designing and building a floating vessel that can hold up to 5kg of cargo while minimising the weight of construction.

The 3M Young Innovators Challenge was devised by the science-based technology company 3M with the aim of inspiring the next generation of original thinkers and supporting the STEM curriculum of science, technology, engineering and maths.

It has been run in partnership with the Loughborough Echo every year since 2013 and is also being supported by the Loughborough Learning Alliance and the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) College in Loughborough.

The Cargo Carrier Challenge is one of the new categories in the competition this year created to mark the government-led initiative designating 2018 as the UK Year of Engineering.

It is open to all Years 3-6 primary school pupils in the Loughborough Echo circulation area and has a top award of PS750 worth of equipment for the winning school and prizes for the pupils.

John Fisher, technical director at scientific instrument manufacturers Lacerta Technology Ltd, is one of the two judges of the Cargo Carrier Challenge category. He commented: "This challenge is all about developing interest in engineering at an early age and making it fun.

"We will be seeking evidence of STEM learning through research into boat design, buoyancy and stability, as well as experimentation with design and materials.

"We're certainly looking forward to seeing some examples of exciting creativity from the young engineers of the future."

His fellow judge is Chris Bishop, a principal project engineer with 3M in Loughborough, who developed the boatbuilding challenge. Chris is one of the company's STEM ambassadors and volunteers with a number of local primary schools delivering maths and engineering-based activities.

As well as offering prizes for the pupils, 3M will also be funding their entry into the British Science Association's CREST Award scheme to give them the chance to gain a nationally recognised accreditation.

Full details of how to enter the Cargo Carrier Challenge - together with information on the other competition categories for primary and secondary schools - can be found at


Pictured is John Fisher, technical director at scientific instrument manufacturers Lacerta Technology Ltd, who is one of the two judges of the Cargo Carrier Challenge category in the 2018 3M Young Innovators Challenge.

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Publication:Loughborough Echo (Loughborough, England)
Date:Jan 24, 2018
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