Our exciting primary Challenge will really get your pupils into blue sky thinking! Working as individuals or small teams of 2-5, students should design and construct an aircraft within a maximum weight limit and develop a launching device to propel it forwards to cover the greatest distance from the launch point. With marks for background research, innovative design development, prototyping, aesthetics and distance covered, the sky’s the limit with the AeroTech Challenge!
The aims of the Challenge:
Eligible school year groups: Years 3-6.
Entries accepted from: Individuals or teams of 2-5 students. Schools may submit a maximum of 3 entries for the Challenge. Teams may be mixed year group.
Open to: Bracknell Forest and Wokingham Authority Schools, Academies and Private Schools. Home-educated children may also participate. See our Terms and Conditions.
Closing date for entries: 24 March 2022
Judging: 17, 18 and 19 May 2022 at 3M Centre, Cain Road, Bracknell. Please indicate your preferred date/time on the entry form.
The judges will check that (i) the aircraft and launching device are only made from materials from the Materials List (ii) the aircraft does not exceed the weight limit (iii) the launching device does not exceed the maximum dimensions. Flight testing will be done indoors to avoid the effect of windspeed on distance travelled. The judges will mark a launch line on the floor and place the launching device behind this. Entrants will be invited to launch their aircraft three times. The distance travelled will be measured in metres and centimetres in a straight line from the 'launch line' to the nearest point of the aircraft on landing. Any extra distance gained by the aircraft skidding along the ground will not be counted. The longest distance of the three flights be used for judging puposes.
Up to 30 marks for the distance covered by the aircraft
Up to 20 marks for STEM learning into aircraft design and factors affecting flight including forces, gravity and resistance
Up to 20 marks for design and construction including material experimentation, prototyping, design modifications and overcoming problems and challenges
Up to 15 marks for visual appearance/aesthetics of the aircraft
Up to 15 marks for the presentation
Total marks available = 100
The students’ year group will be taken into account when awarding marks.
Judges will select 4-6 finalists who will be invited to attend the 3M Young Innovators Challenge presentation event on Friday 17 June, 2022.
Links to Science Curriculum (England)
Forces and magnets
Links to Design and Technology Curriculum (England)
Key stage 2
When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:
Links to Mathematics Curriculum (England)
Billy Brady is a lead Application Engineering specialist at 3M. He has a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Limerick and has more than 30 years of experience working across different industries including Transportation, Energy and Electrical markets specialising in high strength foam tapes. Outside of work his passion is gliding and he has competed in numerous national and international competitions. He is delighted to be judging the AeroTech Challenge and looking forward to examining the creative aeronautical projects that the competition will uncover.
Richard Putland is a Process Engineer. Having a degree in Chemical Engineering, he applies maths, physics and chemistry to industrial processes, solving problems and designing solutions. He manages a team of process engineers in design projects ranging from oil refineries and chemical production plants, to carbon capture and power generation. Richard has worked in different parts of the world, requiring travel to countries such as China, Korea and Saudi Arabia, as well as Europe.