Sir Ben Ainslie Surprises Winners of Design A Boat Competition

Sir Ben Ainslie surprised the winners from Bohunt School, Liphook by joining their group to meet the winners as they visited the TECH DECK and Education Centre at the Land Rover BAR base in Portsmouth.

Over 70 entries were received from across the UK for the 1851 Trust’s Design a Boat Competition supported by Aberdeen Asset Management, the official Performance Partner to Land Rover BAR.

The Summer Term STEM competition was developed by the 1851 Trust to offer STEM teachers of 11-14 year olds a practical activity which would enable their students to share in the excitement of the America’s Cup and to consider some of the design and technological challenges faced by Land Rover BAR, the British America’s Cup team, by designing their own racing yacht.

Background information, curriculum-linked resources, scene setting videos and design tips were provided on BT STEM Crew, the 1851 Trust’s completely free and unique online educational resource for STEM teachers.

The panel of judges included a Land Rover BAR designer, the 1851 Trust Education Manager and representatives from Aberdeen Asset Management and BT, who all agreed the standard of entries was very high and an enormous amount of work and effort had gone into the designs.

After reviewing all entries, First Prize was awarded to Josiah, Sophie and Ben in Year 8 from Bohunt School, who cleverly used examples from nature to inspire their design.

Stratianna Davi, Head of STEM at Bohunt School who ran the competition in school commented “The BT STEM Crew competition enabled our students to engage to more rigorous, analytical, sceptical, open-minded and reflective approaches to science education. In Bohunt School we want students to enjoy learning from real- life examples. I am very proud of Josiah, Sophie and Ben. They worked hard on this project and it was an amazing way to finish the summer term.”

Sophie, member of the winning team, age 13 said “I enjoyed working as a team and doing the research on the boats.”

Co-winner Ben, age 13, added “I really enjoy science and the project has opened my eyes that science isn’t all about explosions but now I know it’s about other things like hydraulics- it’s fascinating.”


After Sir Ben Ainslie popped in to greet the winners and sign their Land Rover BAR caps, Ms Davi added “Thank you very much for everything that you organized for us [as the prize]. It was an unforgettable experience for our students. I have already received more than ten emails from parents that say that the students don’t stop talking about it!”

Second place was a tie between entries from Bishop Stopford in Kettering and Dover Grammar School who demonstrated outstanding presentation skills and effort and 3rd prize was awarded to Hamble School who demonstrated very creative design solutions.

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management commented We’re delighted to have supported the 1851 Trust and this competition which offered a powerful opportunity for educators to use the Land Rover BAR quest to inspire their students. As employers, we are keen to support activities promoting STEM amongst young people, which are some of the vital skills we look for, and we were very impressed with the quality of the entries submitted.”

Ben Cartledge, CEO of the 1851 Trust added “On behalf of the 1851 Trust, BT STEM Crew and Aberdeen Asset Management, I’d like to thank all of the teachers and schools from across the UK who took part in our Design A Boat Summer STEM Competition.  I hope that everyone enjoyed taking part, learning about a real-life application of their school studies and putting this into practice for themselves. We’re also delighted to announce that more great resources are planned for BT STEM Crew ahead of the new academic year, including a range of practical investigations.”

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