Paratriathlete sets students design task

Year 8 students at Ashfield School put their problem-solving skills to the test in a special challenge judged by a paratriathlete champion.

European Paratriathlon champion and Olympic hopeful Phil Hogg visited the school last month and set a challenge for the students.

The youngsters had to design a new wetsuit especially for use by a paratriathlete, as although there are special wetsuits for triathletes, these are not suitable for participants with disabilities.

Students worked hard on their designs and presentations all day, and were given the chance to use many of the skills that employers look for, including teamwork, communication, creative thinking, and problem-solving.

Before the teams formally presented their ideas to the judges, Phil spoke to them in detail about exactly what is involved in preparing for, and competing in, a paratriathlon.

He also took the time to answer their many questions.

The students then had to present their ideas to the panel of judges, and take the judges’ questions in true Dragons’ Den style.

In addition to Phil, the panel was made up of organisers Hayley Key and Bryan Sluman and Phil Hughes, the STEMnet (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) contract holder for Nottinghamshire.

After the presentations, the judges commented on the fantastic way that students had worked together as teams, as well as their in-depth research and creativity.