On Thursday 5th May, a strong team of Year 8 students (Amilie, Wyn, Esme, Kyra, Seren and Oscar) participated in an IET Faraday Challenge Day, hosted by Neatherd High School.

There were 4 schools from around Norfolk competing in the challenge. They arrived, eagerly anticipating what their challenge would be. Each team was given an outline of the task and then had to design, develop and construct a working prototype followed with a presentation.

All the teams throughout the challenge were exceptionally good and we are extremely pleased to announce that Northgate came out as the overall winners!

Congratulations to the whole team as they worked extremely hard and are a credit to our school.

Seren, one of the team members said of the day, ‘The STEM competition was really fun and exciting. We were given a task, which was to create something which could distract unwell or scared children from the things going on around them. We all instantly agreed on the idea of a sensory board, and so we began to build on and develop that idea. We tried to make it as accessible and as inclusive as we could! We were given ‘money’ to spend in the shop, and so we had an accountant, a project manager, someone in charge of the paperwork, and others who built our sensory board. Together, we managed to create a sensory board, which fitted the criteria and was what we had designed it to be. It was a really good experience, and was amazing to win.

Esme also enjoyed taking part in the challenge, learning new skills along the way. She commented, ‘At first, I was really nervous and stressed out about the actual making of our project. It had only just begun and we already knew what we wanted to make, but making that was really difficult. We had to make our own circuits, which I had never done before, and it wasn’t easy.’

‘Our project was all about helping children in hospital, and how to improve their stay on the ward. We came up with the idea of a sensory board, to help keep children calm and able to concentrate on that, rather than the scary things they might be going through in the hospital. We thought it was important that our invention was accessible to everyone. It included brail, lights, sound and many other features. Overall, this was an amazing experience and I enjoyed it so much. The day was really fun and it was even more fun when we won the competition!’




Kyra was a keen member of the team and said of the experience, ‘For the Faraday Challenge, not only did we need to work as a cohesive team but we also needed to come up with a design that no engineer had ever seen before. Although we didn’t have all the components to create our full creative design we managed to create a bright and colourful prototype of our sensory board. Initially, we all came up with different aspects of the project but in the end, we combined our ideas of bright LEDs, a calming buzzing sound and a cheerful nature design with flowers and bees. The actual shape of the board was a honeycomb fragment to give it a more engaging and appealing aesthetic but also to follow our theme. The biggest contributor to our winning score was our organisation of recording our development of the sensory board and we even got the first full score on paperwork in the history of the competition! We were only one point away from getting to the finals in Liverpool where the Alder Hay Hospital was constructed with the design of a small group of school children like ourselves. Working with IET for their Faraday Challenge was a truly inspiring experience and has made me really interested in engineering.’