Peak 11 schoolchildren re-engineer London landmark

The University of Sheffield teamed up with INPUT (Industry Project: Understanding Technology) on Monday 3 April 2006 to challenge budding engineers from the Derbyshire area to design and build a working replica of the BA London Eye.

The teams of schoolchildren from 6 schools, Buxton Community, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Highfields, Hope Valley College, Lady Manners, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar, took up the challenge to create an accurate structural model, replacing steel structures with paper.

Judges from INPUT and the University of Sheffield's Department of Civil Engineering had difficulty in deciding on an overall winner, as the standard of models and the team work involved was so high. Two schools, Buxton Community and Lady Manners emerged as overall winners and will share the winning trip to the capital for a flight on the real BA London Eye.

The event was intended to inspire young people and to develop their interest in engineering as well as encourage them to consider the benefits of higher education. The University of Sheffield's Outreach and Access section organises similar events throughout the region in order to develop pupils' interest in going to university as part of its commitment to widening participation in higher education.

Gaynor Hamilton, Widening Participation Officer at the University of Sheffield, said: "I'm delighted that this event was such a success and that so many pupils were able to get involved and learn about engineering in such a practical, hands-on and enjoyable way. It's important to capture the imagination of these children at a young age in order to show them the importance of education and encourage them to aspire to studying at university. Bringing the different schools together to work alongside each other also gives the children an excellent opportunity to develop their confidence in mixing with young people from outside of their own school environment. "

For further information please contact: Matt Barker at the University of Sheffield press office on 0114 222 1046, or matt.barker@sheffield.ac.uk