PRIMARY school engineers from Bristol and North Somerset recently gathered for the 2024 Bristol Primary STEM Challenge Final.

The STEM Challenge is an initiative championed by STEMworks – a not-for-profit organisation based in Gloucestershire.

STEMworks’ dedicated team of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) enthusiasts travel the country providing innovative educational workshops for young people.

During these workshops, children are offered valuable opportunities to consider real-world engineering challenges, such as climate change, and to develop their engineering knowledge and skills through fun, practical classroom-based activities.

This year’s Primary STEM Challenge Final was hosted by Badminton School in Bristol.

15 primary schools took part in the final – each represented by the winning team from an earlier round of school-based heats.

This year’s challenge was to design and build a working crane with the aim of successfully installing a model wind turbine. Using K’Nex (a rod and connector building system), string, and magnets, the teams worked independently to design and build their cranes.

Regular visits from the judges assessed their engineering knowledge and problem-solving ability, communication skills, and teamwork.

This year’s judges, all engineers themselves, were wowed by the imagination, ingenuity and engineering skills of this year’s competitors.

Every crane was unique and all of the teams achieved their objective of successfully installing the model wind turbine.

The competition was fierce and after some hushed deliberation from the judges, this year’s victors were announced: Noah Attwood and Thom Davey, two year 6 boys from Burrington Church of England Primary School.

The boys were delighted with their win and their Bristol blue glass trophy: Noah Attwood said: “This was a great opportunity for young people to experience engineering and to have fun at the same time.

“I learnt that trial and error really pays off – we had to change our model several times before we found the perfect combination.

Thom Davey said: “I had a very good experience – it was a lot of fun to take part with my friend, Noah. It was a great day.

The boys’ teacher, Mrs. LJ Annandale, shared her excitement at Burrington’s success: “This engineering competition fit in perfectly with our school’s sustainability vision and was a great opportunity for learning.”

This was a fantastic experience for all of the children, teachers, and parents involved.

The STEMworks team hopes to expand their reach and involve many more schools in the Primary STEM Challenge in 2025.

To find out more, or to get involved, visit the STEMworks website: