Among the diverse aims of Rotary is to support the local community, and to improve the personal development and skills of individuals.
These skills and qualities are often badly needed by industry, which benefits by having innovative employees.
Considering the importance of the engineering industry in the Mid-Ulster area, the members of Dungannon and Cookstown Rotary held a Rotary Technology Tournament in South West College in Dungannon last month.
The event was attended by 20 teams represented from 12 secondary schools from the Dungannon, Magherafelt and Cookstown area.
The teams have to tackle a task, about which they, and their teachers, know nothing until the day. They are required to design, develop, build and then test a specified model from the very limited resources supplied, such as strip wood, dowel, paper clips, tape, wire, cardboard, glue, elastic bands and so on. The results are judged by a panel of Rotarians and industrialists with backgrounds in engineering, technology, enterprise and education.
This year the task was to design and build a battery powered vehicle able to push waste up a tunnel and then reverse back out again.
The tournament is a challenge, but an enjoyable and rewarding experience for those taking part.
An interesting and fun day out was guaranteed for all students, which also tested their knowledge, ingenuity, innovation, application, manual skills and their ability to work in a team.
This year’s winners were from St Ciaran’s High School, Ballygawley.
The day was possible thanks to sponsorship from a number of sources such as South West College, Sentinus, Edge Innovate, Northern Hydraulics, AES Global, SpecDrum Engineering, MCD Engineering and Quinn Fresh as well as the involvement of schools and their students, and the Rotarians who take part in the running of the event.