Blackheath High School students win 3D Design Challenge for WaterAid

On Thursday 10 March, students from Blackheath High School took part in the final of the first ever Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) 3D Design Challenge.

Working in teams of no more than five, students from across the GDST were asked to design a 3D printable product to support the work of international charity, WaterAid.

The charity works to improve access to clean water and improved sanitation in some of the world’s poorest countries, where many women and girls have no choice but to walk miles every day to collect water for their families, leaving little time for education.

Students aged 12 and 13 from Blackheath High School submitted designs that included a shower operated by a foot pump and a collapsible barrel on wheels.
The students presented their ideas to a distinguished panel of industry experts and innovators who judged the entries on the concept behind the technical design and the engineering element.

The Challenge helped students develop new skills, confidence and knowledge of the career options available within the broad field of computer-aided design and digital technology.
Helen Fraser, chief executive of the GDST, said:
“The GDST 3D Design Challenge is an exciting, creative and collaborative opportunity for our students. The entries were of a very high standard and I want to thank everyone involved for their enthusiasm.
All our schools encourage young people to develop an appreciation of technology early in life and I look forward to hearing more from our finalists in the future.”

Helen Seacombe from WaterAid said:
“One in ten people lack access to clean water, while one in three have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. This injustice hits women and girls the hardest, affecting their health, dignity and life chances. “WaterAid is grateful to the GDST for helping to raise awareness of this global crisis as we work towards a world where everyone everywhere has access to these basic resources by 2030.”

Mary Aspden, Head of Creative Arts at Blackheath High School was delighted that both of her Year 8 teams won prizes in the challenge, saying:
“What a fantastic day! Our Year 8 students have been working on the Challenge design brief during their 3D Printing club sessions since Christmas. Team ‘A little Hope’ which comprised: Bianca Cole, Karen Whitely and Sophie Waite designed and made a model of their foot pumped shower which would enable women and girls in developing countries to shower, helping to keep themselves clean. The shower head was 3D printed and they won the junior category for ‘Global Impact. ‘ Team ‘3LEE’ comprised: Lily Yue, Ella Watts and Elena Zeeven who designed a model of a collapsible barrel that could be used to transport water from waterhole to village. The barrel could be dragged along on its wheels using a telescopic handle. They won the overall Junior trophy and a 3D printer for the school! The result could not have been better, well done to all the girls!!”

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