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Posted on 24 Aug 2010 by The Manufacturer

IMechE launch their cardboard boat regatta in Plymouth. The competition aims to whet the appetites of young people for engineering challenges.

Adding to IMechE’s (Institute for Mechanical Engineers) impressive portfolio of events designed to engage with children and young adults and to educate them about the career possibilities in engineering, the new regatta will challenge participants to design build and race a hand-made cardboard boat. The challenge has been thrown down today and the race itself is due to take place on Saturday September 18 at the Mayflower Sailing Club, Madeira Road, Plymouth.

To support IMechE’s ongoing campaign to raise the profile of engineering with the general public, the competition is open to all. Teams of up to four people will be provided with 500 credits to purchase raw materials from the ‘IMechE shop’ at the sailing club, before they get to work on building the most seaworthy boat possible within a few hours. The boats will then be pitted against each other in a series of high octane race heats, before prizes are awarded. The race winner, innovative design and best team outfits will be rewarded.

Tim Crook, Events Manager of the IMechE Devon and Cornwall Young Members Panel, said: “Plymouth has never before seen an event like this. Not only will it be great to see the teams’ battle to stay afloat and complete the course, but the event will show them that innovative engineering ideas can be applied to everything – even cardboard! It will be our first cardboard boat regatta, which forms part of part of our summer events programme, but we hope to run the competition again in the future.”

The event aims to highlight engineering as a career for young people as recent statistics show that 70 per cent of 16-19 year-olds do not know what an engineer is. Exhibits and representatives from local engineering firms will be on hand at the regatta to provide careers advice and information.

Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the IMechE, said: “In the future we are going to have to be much more innovative and efficient in our use of the world’s resources. It’s great to see our young members are getting so involved and organising imaginative events to show that as well as solving challenging problems like these, engineering is a fun and exciting career. I wish all the teams the best of luck!”

Spectators are welcome to cheer on the teams as they battle to complete the race from 3.30pm.

NB: Contestants need to be able to swim, but for more information contact [email protected]