Horncastle school’s high fliers wing their way to success

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Year 8 students at Banovallum School have proved to be real ‘high fliers’ after winging their way to victory in this year’s ‘Project -X’ competition.

The competition pits schools against each other and features a scenario of teams having to drop a payload to a stricken pilot on a desert island.

Students have to ‘fly’ their aircraft down a zip wire and drop supplies at various points - a challenge that requires innovative thinking and teamwork to execute successfully.

Held at RAF Waddington, Banovallum impressed judges from start to finish.

They said the school’s ‘innovative aircraft design demonstrated a real understanding of all the mathematical, logistical and engineering challenges the project presents’.

Leading the project, Flight Officer Fox said : “Banovallum School should be immensely proud of themselves.

“The level of innovation and the quality of their design has really impressed us all.”

The students were helped by mentoring from the RAF’s Sgt Harvey, who said: “ All the participants should be proud of their efforts.

“There’s obviously been a huge amount of thought put into each of the entries as it was clear to me that all the students had a real desire to solve this tricky problem.

“Who knows, we might have a few future engineers.”

The Banovallum team consisted of Rosie Baxter, Jared Boddy, Sophie Bone, Finley Cairns, Olivia Cooper, Leah Fenn, Phobe Hawkins, Chris Taylor and Tomas Turner.

They spent many of their lunchtimes planning, building and testing their ‘solution’ over a 10-week period.

They had great support from two RAF mentors who volunteered their own time to help the students, often coming in early before completing a night shift at RAF Coningsby!

Banovallum saw off competition from 10 rivals schools, including Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School whose entry was a superb replica of a Red Arrows’ jet.

Mr T Bollan, Head of Creative Arts and Design Technology at Banovallum School said: “I’m immensely proud of the Banovallum team and our RAF mentors who have contributed so much throughout the project.

“Their input and experience gives the students the confidence and determination to work effectively as a team.”

During the day, students were also invited to join in activities with several different sections based at RAF Waddington, including the Fire Section, and Regiment Flight and Survival Equipment Section.

Boston Grammar School finished second while QEGS - who entered for the first time in several years - were third.