Young design engineers from King’s Girls’ Division came a narrow second in a region-wide challenge to design sophisticated computer programmes to help former Maxonian Ben Ainslie win the America’s Cup.Emma Graham, Abigail Breese-Tovey, Connie Jordan, Jo Whiteley and Julia Zjawinska. Trinity Mack was also a key member of the King’s team.
The team of six girls had six hours in which to develop and present their two ideas for the coding and design of a temperature sensor to protect sailors from overheating and a motion sensor to allow quick tacking.
Their prototypes were aimed to complement Ben Ainslie’s innate sailing skills and enable his BAR Land Rover team to qualify and then win the America’s Cup in Bermuda next year.
The challenge was designed to test intellectual, team-working and business skills and was organised by ‘The Institution of Engineering and Technology Faraday Challenge’.
It saw the girls divided into specific roles covering project management, programming, environmental management and health and safety with their presentation skills just as important as the functionality of their design.
Pupil and Chief Designer Connie Jordan, who wants to be an engineer, said: “The most important thing was to work as a team, be organised and make best use of the time. We were successful because we cooperated and worked together.”
The team from King’s Girls’ Division was initially tied in first place and then pipped to the winning slot in a tie-break.
King’s Girls Division Physics Teacher Daniel Deakin said: “There is a nationwide drive to encourage more young women to take up jobs in STEM subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but our girls need no encouragement; they love the creativity and discipline of these subjects.”
Mr Deakin added: “The rapid pace of technological change means we are training our young people for jobs that haven’t been invented yet, so they need to learn the soft skills of team-working, management and presentation alongside the science and technicalities.”