NEARLY 100 students from across west Cornwall took part in the Rotary Technical Tournament held at Falmouth School.

The seven schools, who entered 24 teams made up of four pupils each, were given the task to construct a crane.

At Foundation level they had to construct a crane to retrieve a hazard material after a rail accident from a distance of 800mm away.

They were supplied with some pieces of wood, string, wire, an electric motor and batteries, wheels, magnetic hook, cogs and other parts.

Initially the teams had to produce a portfolio of ideas and designs before starting to build the device in a limited timeframe.

At the Intermediate level they had a similar task, but the crane had to pass under a bridge close to the crash site.

At the Advanced level the distance between the bridge and the crash site was reduced, making tolerances very tight.

In addition, after retrieving the cannister, they had to release it.

Participation certificates were given to each student and trophies – sponsored by Port Pendennis, A&P Falmouth and Watson Marlow – were awarded for the best portfolio and construction at each level.

Falmouth Mayor, Steve Eva, praised the commitment and concentration of all the participants and thanked Falmouth School for hosting the event before presenting the prizes.

Truro High won the best portfolio and gold award for construction in the Advanced section; Mullion School achieved the same awards in the intermediate section, Truro High and Humphrey Davy won the junior trophies.

A packet of ‘goodies’ was given to each of the Truro High gold winners from Spaceport Cornwall.

The Rotary Technical Tournament has been running since 1989 and was rolled out nationally in 2011.

Falmouth Rotary Club held the first one in Cornwall last year, the success of which promoted a repeat.

Nationally more than 400,000 students take part in this competition designed to inspire the creative engineers of the future.

Rotary District Governor, Simon Wood, said “ We need to extend this competition through the rest of Cornwall and into Devon.”