This summer, Trinity students competed in the annual SATRO Problem Solving competition. This has been running for over 20 years and typically involves nearly 1,000 students each year.
SATRO is an educational charity which seeks to extend learning beyond the curriculum; and this competition involves working as part of a team of six students to solve a problem, using only the materials provided, within a fixed time. The challenge is designed to test the teams’ ingenuity, teamwork and creativity based on STEM skills.
We put forward a team in the KS3, KS4 and KS5 age categories – comprising of Adhi Sasikumar, Dhyan Ruparel, Franco Hillier, Finlay Evans, Matthew Johnsen and Simeon Wren in KS3; Arya Battacharya, James Blair, Dylan Chung Kam Chung, Ben Sindall, Shashank Vinoo and Harry Ogden in KS4; and Joel Cuttle, Aman de Silva, George Ogden, Joshua Todd, Liam Writer and Mahdeia Hidary in KS5.
This year’s brief was to design and build a device which allowed an electric motor to move in a horizontal circle. The moving part attached to the motor had to be air-driven using an electric motor and a propeller – which students had to build themselves.
Miss Manisier, Teacher of Physics and STEM Co-ordinator comments: “All teams showed excellent communication and perseverance throughout the challenge but the KS4 team’s design was particularly impressive and ranked ‘best in school’. We delighted to recently find out that in the national competition our teams got the ‘runners up’ place in both the KS3 and KS4 age categories.”
Adhi, now in Fourth Year, says: “The SATRO competition was a 90-minute challenge in which we were given some materials and equipment such as a motor, and asked to make a rotating ‘toy’. It required the team to think fast and come up with innovative ideas to solve the problem. This was an enjoyable competition, because you had to think creatively and work together to solve the challenges you faced … It was a good learning experience.”
Meanwhile, Harry described the experience as ‘very fun’ and said that he enjoyed being able to interact with people in his year that he would not usually get to spend time with.
Franco said the boys worked really well as a team, and Finlay said that he had learned a lot – adding that ‘hopefully’ this means that next time they will win!
Dhyan added: “The SATRO competition was an exciting, yet testing, challenge. Working with Finn, Adhi, Matthew, Franco and Simeon was an enjoyable experience, and we certainly developed both our technical skills and our communication skills as we worked together to navigate the problem, and find an inventive solution. Tensions were high, especially as we neared the time limit, but I know that we are all very pleased with the result, and would love to have another go! Thank you to all those who made it happen.”
“The challenge was quite complex, with three different categories in which they could score points. Teams had to work out, not only how to make a functional device, but also the best strategy for high point scoring."
Miss Manisier, Teacher of Physics and STEM Co-ordinator
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