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Durham School for Girls wins the North East England Sporting Wonder Challenge

Posted: 8th July 2015

Pupils from the Durham School for Girls were announced as the winners of the North East England Sporting Wonder Challenge yesterday (6 July 2015). The competition was led by CIC and involved all the construction industry professional institutions, with big thanks to Constructing Excellence and NCBF (Northern Counties Builders Federation) for organising and funding it. The proud winners received a cash prize and trophy, with the runners up also receiving a cash prize. Below is the competition brief that participating schools and students had to follow to enter.

The Challenge

Teams Were expected to work to deadlines to complete the following tasks.

Task 1:

  • Set up a mini construction company including designing a logo, letterhead, company brochure etc
  • Research a variety of technical and professional careers within the construction and engineering industries
  • Research ideas for the purpose of their ‘Sporting Wonder’ and develop a number of options
  • Focus on expanding the chosen scheme (why did you choose this one?)
  • Consider how their project would impact on their existing town, including the local community
  • Submit a report covering the above and noting the chosen scheme

Task 2:

  • Focus on their Chosen Scheme
  • Produce scaled drawings of their Master Plan and choose a key/anchor development that is key to the success
  • Produce a scale model and/or develop a 3D CAD model
  • Consider how much their project may cost and be funded
  • Prepare a PowerPoint presentation selling their company and proposed “Wonder” to the judges
  • Display all completed work including written reports, designs and information on special features etc.


Schools delivered the project in a variety of ways. Some were able to build delivery into lessons and this worked particularly well where students are studying GSCE or BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment. Others completed the project in lunch breaks, after-school sessions e.g. STEM clubs and sometimes even during holidays! The project works best when a non-teaching member of staff takes the lead on directing the students as they often have more time available to offer support


Judging took place at the end of each task and schools were provided with written feedback on progress and suggestions for improvement. Judging was undertaken by a small panel of staff and industry professionals. Once both tasks were complete the top teams were offered a place in the Grand Final to battle it out in front of a panel of industry professionals