Pupils from UTC Oxfordshire in Didcot have been praised after winning in the finals of the REME Craftsman Cup.

Held at MOD Lyneham earlier this month, the final was the culmination of a nine-month project set by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which aims to give youngsters a taste of what a role in the regiment could entail. There were a choice of challenges set based around adding innovation to current British Army equipment.

UTC Oxfordshire had three teams in the final against two of Activate Learning Education Trust’s other UTCs - UTC Swindon and UTC Reading - as well as Activate Learning colleges.

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All the teams presented their ideas to REME and three teams were selected to take part in the final at MOD Lyneham, where they presented to a panel of REME Engineers.

The students were treated to lunch and a tour of the training hangers, where they saw a variety of weapons, ammunition, aircraft, tanks and had a tour of the REME museum.

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The winning team - Jamie Davies, Alex Williams and Ben Collins - impressed the judges and landed the Craftsman Cup with their design to hold a rifle onto a quad bike with electromagnets.

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The feedback from Maj Connor and WO2 Hooson was that they were really impressed with the teams’ concepts, project management, but especially the teamwork shown throughout.

Teacher Georgina Phillips said of the teams: “Getting three teams in the final from UTCO is amazing! I am very proud of the students for stepping up and taking part in this competition - it is a big deal to present in such a setting to the officers from REME and they all presented themselves so well and should be very proud.”

Principal Sam Knowlton said: ”I am really proud of our students who entered this competition and the teachers that supported them. This is a prime example of where UTC’s work with potential employers to develop skills and attributes which will benefit them in their future careers. This is engineering excellence in action.”

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Student Jamie Davis said: “It was amazing going to MOD Lyneham and presenting our solution to Members of REME. I enjoyed seeing the working environment of the base and where the soldiers are trained in engineering and the tour in the REME museum was very interesting.”

Ms Phillips added: “Our students have worked really hard on their projects and being invited to MOD Lyneham was a privilege. Thank you to REME for organising the competition.”

UTC Oxfordshire is a school for students aged 14 to 19, and specialises in science and engineering.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF