Alu D&T Challenge announces a Grand Prize in their competition for young designers

The UK aluminium industry’s national design competition, the Alu D&T Challenge, has added a new ‘Grand Prize’ to the 2017 competition: the chance to see aluminium production at first hand, in Italy. The prize, sponsored by Novelis, will be awarded to the student, or team of students, judged to have produced the most outstanding design across the three categories.


The two day trip for the students and their D&T teacher will include the chance to visit two Novelis plants on the outskirts of Milan: Pieve to the south of the city has over 50 years’ experience of rolling aluminium. Bresso, located to the north, produces pre-painted aluminium and speciality finishes for architectural use.   The plant visits will provide students and their teacher with a unique insight into the global aluminium industry and the many diverse uses for aluminium.  There will also be plenty of opportunities to take in some of the wonderful sights in and around Milan, with a full day of sight-seeing included in the itinerary.

The ‘Overall winner’ prize is in addition to the existing prize structure for the Alu D&T Challenge competition.   The group and individual winner of each category will receive a Standard Magnetic MODI Classpack robotics kit, a Mini Mambo Drone alongside £100 worth of vouchers for the students.   The Runners up of each category will receive an Expert Magnetic robotic kit, a Mini Mambo Drone and £75 of vouchers for students.  And all entries that reach the shortlist will receive a 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen. In addition prizes will be awarded to runners up and finalists.


Alupro members Novelis who are sponsoring the Grand Prize trip to Milan have been supporting the competition since it began in 2012.  Andy Doran, Senior Manager – Sustainability and Recycling Development says:  “For Novelis the competition is a valuable opportunity to teach students about Aluminium and challenge them to think creatively about how we can use materials to reduce our impact on the environment.  I’ve been a judge of the competition since it started in 2012 and never cease to be impressed by the amazing, practical and ingenious ideas the students come up with.”


The competition is now in its fifth year and aims to teach pupils about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium – an infinitely recyclable material. Young designers are encouraged to realise the contribution aluminium makes to the world we live in through learning materials which show the use of aluminium in a wide variety of applications and products; from smartphones to cars, drink cans to buildings.


The competition is part of a free online teaching resource which has been developed by the UK aluminium industry and its customers. The online resource contains lesson plans, design briefs, stimulus sheets and guidance for teachers, and supports the D&T curriculum for 11-14 year olds throughout the UK. This year’s competition sets challenges based on real-life briefs faced by designers, engineers and manufacturers in three categories – transport, building and packaging.  The aim is to inspire students to get creative and design a product for the future, using aluminium.


Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges from across industry, the sponsoring organisations1 and academics.  Every school entry and finalist will be recognised with a D&T Challenge certificate and the winners and their teachers will be invited to a celebration and prize-giving event in March 2018 at the Thinktank Science Museum, in Birmingham.


The Learning Aluminium website has everything teachers need to get involved, including suggestions for using the resources in lessons or as part of a STEM Club or homework project.  There is no entry fee and no limit to the number of entries a school can submit.  Schools have all autumn term to work on their entries, which need to be submitted via the website or by post before 22nd December 2017.


The resources and full details of the competition are available online at

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