Alu D&T Challenge competition winners are announced!

We would like congratulate the schools and students, listed below, who have been named as winners in the Alu D&T Challenge 2016.  

We received entries from more than 200 students, working as individuals or as part of a team.  These entries were scrutinised and shortlisted down to 30 finalists, and the winners were chosen by a judging panel made up of senior figures from the aluminium industry, and specialists in automotive engineering, packaging design and architecture.


Our judges were extremely impressed by the creativity shown by each finalist, and commended them all on the amount of detailed research they had conducted, especially into ensuring their designs met the 6Rs of sustainability.  There were some very ingeneous and inspiring solutions to the challenges set in the three design briefs.  They enjoyed working through the entries and discussing the merits of each one at length before finally selecting our winners.  In each category they awarded a prize to the winning team and individual design, and a runner up.  Winners will receive a 3D printer for their school, plus vouchers for the students.


The winners will receive their prizes at our Celebration Event next week (8th March) at ThinkTank Science Museum in Birmingham.  We will share their winning designs here after the event.


Congratulations to all of our winners – and thank you to everyone who sent us an entry into this year’s competition.  We hope you enjoyed using the resources, and learned lots about aluminium.

Winners of the Alu D&T Challenge 2016:

Vehicle of the future:

  • Winner – individual: Alex Brown (Year 8) Oakham School, Leics.
  • Winner – team: Christopher Dodd, Hayden Macdonald, Evan Hoult, Alastair Tyson (Year 9) Urmston Grammar School
  • Runner Up: Thomas Lemon (Y8), St. John’s School, Northwood.


Garden building for a creative homeworker:

  • Winner – individual: Amy Riddlesdell (Y8), Oakham School
  • Winner –team: Melissa Gün, Eve McDonald, Harry Rapinett (Year 9), Urmston Grammar School
  • Runner up: Tobias Raphael (Y8), Crosfields School


Innovative new packaging solution:

  • Winner – individual: Ethan Thorne (Y9), St. Ives School
  • Winner – team: Amber Treharne, Laila Frances, Sofie Jenkins, Teagan Horsley (Y9) Ysgol Glan-y-Mor
  • Runner up: Nick Wood (Y9) , St Ives School

Reaching the final of a national competition is also a great achievement, so congratulations also to the other schools who had students on the final shortlist:

  • Oxford High School GDST, Oxford
  • Sherborne Preparatory School
  • Harrold Priory Middle School
  • Alderley Edge School for Girls



Our DT Challenge Ysgol GlanyMor

Our D&T Challenge

In 2015 Ysgol Glan y Mor used the Alu D&T Challenge for a Year 9 STEM project.  STEM Leader Sue Quirk explains how they used the resources, and the impact it had on the students who took part. Read more

Our Grand Prize winner’s trip gives a unique insight into aluminium production

Fourteen year-old Leon Andrews won the grand prize in the 2015 Alu D&T Challenge: a visit to Germany to see aluminium production at first hand, including the world’s largest remelt and rolling mill.  In June Leon, his mum Janet and his D&T teacher Gisela Daemi Rashidi travelled from Cornwall to Dusseldorf as guests of Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products.  Alupro Marketing & Communication Manager Diana Caldwell joined them for what was a field trip with a difference.

Read more

Celebrating our 2015/16 competition winners

Over 450 students sent in their designs to be judged in this year’s Aluminium D&T Challenge, and last week it was finally time to meet our winners!


Nineteen pupils and their teachers travelled to Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, to be presented with their prizes and to meet the competition judges and sponsors.  For some it had been a very early start – the four winners from St. Ives School left Cornwall at 4am to get to Birmingham, and thankfully for our winners from Devon the trains were on time!


Alu_DandT_Challenge garden building winning team

Nigel Gibbon and Ben, Rhys and Charlie from Ysgol Glan-y-Mor with a model of their winning design

The Celebration Event is the culmination of the Alu D&T Challenge and the judges and sponsors all really look forward to meeting the students.  The presentation ceremony was hosted by Nigel Gibbon, Managing Director of Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products, who invited each of the winners up to talk about their ideas and their winning design.  The certificates were presented by members of the judging panel – all experts in that particular industry.


Adrian Tautscher of Jaguar Land Rover with Molly Broome

Adrian Tautscher of Jaguar Land Rover with Molly Broome

Our youngest winner was Molly Broome, a year 7 pupil from Barr Beacon School in Walsall.  Molly, who was 11 when she entered the competition, was congratulated by Adrian Tautscher of Jaguar Land Rover.  Adrian thought her bold ideas for the ‘vehicle of the future’ held much promise of a future career as an engineer.  The first of two winning teams from Ysgol Glan-y-Mor in south Wales won the team prize in this category. Adrian praised the four girls, Rhiannon Sturgess Jacob, Jasmine Palmer, Jessie Leigh Craig and Jasmine Peters, for their detailed research into aluminium alloys, clear drawings and attention to the 6R’s of sustainable design.  In fact all the winners in the vehicle category were girls: our runners up, Kirsten Hawkins and Julia Thwaites, from Colyton Grammar School in Devon, designed a vehicle inspired by a garden leaf blower which drew praise from the judges for its creativity and well communicated ideas, including detailed drawings.


Professor of Architecture Michael Stacey has judged all three of the Alu D&T Challenge competitions and thoroughly enjoys studying the finalists’ designs and meeting the budding designers and architects of the future.  The winning team from Ysgol Glan-y-Mor, Charlie Hall, Rhys Rowlands and Ben Harris,  impressed him with their artist’s studio which blended with the garden setting,  featuring a leaf-shaped aluminium living roof which included a rainwater harvesting system.  Ysgol Glan-y-Mor also had the runners up in this category, Wiktoria Swiatkowska, Carys Nurse, Nicole Vaughan Jones and Jasmine Peters. They had designed and modeled treehouse ‘pods’ which the judges felt would be a really ‘funky’ space to inspire a creative writer.  Individual winner Ella Coulter, a year 8 student from Alderley Edge School for Girls, had created a photographer’s studio and in the process had decided she’d quite like to be a photographer when she finishes school. Our official photographer for the event thought her design was great, and wants one for his garden!



Sam, Will, Leon and Maia swept the board in the ‘Innovative Packaging’ category

In the packaging category one school swept the board: St Ives School from Cornwall had the individual and team winner and the runner up. Credit must go to Ms Daemi-Rashidi, their teacher, who obviously inspired some creative thinking in her Year 9 pupils. This category was perhaps the most challenging, asking students to rethink and redesign a package that’s already in use. Thinking outside the box, literally, were Will Williams and Sam Barlow whose idea for an aluminium laptop box which converted into a table drew praise from the judges. Anyone who has tried to balance a laptop on their knee or on a fold down table on a train or plane would really appreciate their multi-purpose invention.


Individual winner in this category was Leon Andrews whose idea for a hard case for a child’s ukulele was simple but effective. It used aluminium as an alternative to the current plastic or fabric cases: to provide better protection and an attractive design; the judges liked the animal–themed ‘zookulele’ and thought they could see this product becoming a reality.


Everyone in the audience was impressed by runner up Maia Uys’s idea for a multi-purpose ‘help box’ – something that could be put to good use in war, refugee and natural disaster zones helping to supply vulnerable people with essential supplies. Maia spoke very passionately about her idea and won warm applause from everyone in the room.


The presentation ended with the announcement of the ‘grand prize’. This was for the individual designer judged to be the outstanding entry in this year’s competition. Nigel opened the silver envelope to a hushed audience and announced that Leon Andrews was the winner of an expenses paid trip to Germany. Here he will get the chance to visit the cities of Dusseldorf and Cologne, and see aluminium production at first hand at the Hydro Aluminium plant at Grevenbroich. The trip, which will take place in the summer, will be for Leon, his teacher Gizela Daemi-Rashidi and one of his parents. A slightly stunned Leon was delighted with his prize, and his mum, who was in the audience, was bursting with pride!


After official photos, video interviews and lunch our lucky winners still had energy to visit Thinktank and see the wide variety of interactive exhibits and displays before picking up their 3D printers and 3Doodler pens, vouchers and certificates and starting the long journey home.


Once again it was a pleasure to meet all our winners and the teachers who have encouraged and inspired their work. We hope the Alu D&T Challenge has given them confidence in their talents and to think about a future career in design or engineering. Meeting them has certainly inspired and re-energised us! Roll on the 2016/17 competition!