Beth Mottram of The Mount School's Sixth Form College and Sophie Search, a university student who finished Sixth Form at the all-girl Quaker school last summer, have both won Runner Up Engineer of the Year awards at the national Big Bang Competition at the NEC in Birmingham on Thursday 15th March 2018. Beth won runner up in the Intermediate division and Sophie took the award in the Senior division. The girls qualified for the national competition having won top awards at NYBEP's (North Yorkshire Business Enterprise Partnership) Design Inspirations 2017 competition.
Sophie, who won NYBEP's prestigious George Cayley Cup in 2017, had designed and built a dimensionally correct wooden pony for children to practise correctly putting a bridle and saddle on. The piece was designed specifically to allow children with autism to be able to be practice this to fluidity before coming in contact with a live animal. Research shows that children with autism benefit enormously from spending time with animals such as horses and ponies, and Sophie saw this as an opportunity to make a significant impact for those children. The wooden pony also has discreet internal storage space for the tack.
Beth Mottram's design, of a fold-away dining chair, was inspired by a train journey. She said, "The people had nowhere to sit. This is when the idea of a portable folding chair came to me, a chair which could be carried around like a briefcase. I found inventive new ways and features to design such as a storage unit within the chair and mechanisms to help the function of the folding legs." Beth created her final design out of sustainable pine board and plywood in the school's workshop.
Rachel Milton, Head of DT at the all-girl Quaker senior school, said, "I am thrilled for the girls for this incredible accomplishment on the national stage against students from schools across the UK. Mount girls achieve well in these prestigious competitions; they demonstrate sophisticated and independent thought processes in their concept work, they articulate these beautifully and their finished product is polished and highly professional for school students."