STUDENTS have been building on their technology and engineering expertise in a challenge designed to take their thinking into the future.

The 120-strong second year at Ripon Grammar School was involved in the annual project, which tested a range of skills as students came up with designs for an eco-classroom block.

Head of engineering Mike Barker said: "As well as having to design, market and create a model building, the challenge literally builds on the students' skills for the future as well.

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"It's all about extra-curricular benefits such as developing their teamworking, communication, time management, negotiation, presentation and other life skills."

Taken off normal timetable for two days, the group was divided into teams. Students had first to apply for their chosen role in their team then received feedback from careers staff on their applications.

They then had access to various school resources and subject teachers in IT, maths, science, design and technology, art and engineering to develop their models, which had to incorporate sustainable energy features, and design a marketing poster.

The judges included Professor Jim Castle of Glasgow Caledonian university who said: “The students came up with some very novel ideas."

Prizes were awarded for eco awareness, the best marketing, best teamwork, the most cost effective design, the best pitch and for the overall winning team.