This is a quote from a 14 year old girl at our first Rotary Technology Tournament in 2007. Only 3 other centres in district 1040 were running the event at that time. This has expanded enormously and has taken off in a big way: 1040 now has 13 centres. Not only that, the 1040 design group sets the task for the whole of the UK with more than 100 centres (and expanding) involved. Our club helped to set up the Leeds tournament and in March we had a record number of teams (45) take part
Why a rotary technology tournament?
When you were young, did you make your own things and fix bits that were broken?
This does not happen now – with not only the current school generation – but also with their parents who never seem to even think about such tasks let alone undertake them. Exposure to such a culture is the basis of inventiveness. Great Britain became great because of the enterprise shown by earlier generations. This approach has reduced considerably over the last two generations and we will no longer be the nation of inventors.
This is why the RTT started. I have no doubt it has gathered momentum because our clubs are full of the “mature” generation and can show the way forward.
Headingley RC has been very involved in running the annual event since 2007 and has contributed greatly to the learning of many youngsters. This is an essential community role.
For those who have not been involved, secondary schools are invited to provide teams of 4, at three age levels from Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. All the teams are given a task which they do not see until 9.30 on the day they arrive. They are provided with materials which includes such items as cardboard, string, wooden, glue, doweling etc and asked to work as a team to develop a model that will meet the demands of the task. This is judged at 14.20 on the same day.
Typical tasks have included “firing a weather rocket” and building a “rescue vehicle to cross a crocodile infested river “.
The task this year, was to build a roadway and bridge to carry goods (a 1kg weight) to the M S Rotary carrying urgently needed relief materials. The 0.5m roadway and bridge were made from cardboard – you try it!
All teams made a testable model which is one of the key aims of our event. The winners are posted on our website www.rotary-technology-leeds.org along with some pictures.
We greatly acknowledge the funding by sponsors including local councillors (Cllrs Dawson, Downes, Campbell, Long, Wadsworth, Hanley, Gruen, Ritchie, Carter, Flynn, Anderson and Collins), the West Yorkshire Society of Architects, Baildon Timber, David Bishop, Pro-Fab and Team Impressions Ltd as well as the Rotary Clubs involved
Many thanks, not only to the schools that took part, but also the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lieutenant of Yorkshire for their attendance and advice.