Children and adults invited to enter Arran engineering competition

Winners from last year's competition were Daisy McNamara with runners up Rosie McNamara and Olivia McNeice, all with their inventions.

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Entries are open for the annual Arran engineering competition which, this year, will also be open for adults to enter.

Previously aimed at children of school age the competition will take place at the church hall, Lamlash, on Saturday July 20 at 9.30am.

Organiser Rory Cowan said: ‘Scotland has produced a large number of very worthy engineers – in fact Scotland has punched well above its weight in engineering terms for a very long time indeed, and we should be proud of it.

‘That is why for several years now we have run an engineering competition on Arran aimed mainly at school children.

‘However, in the past we have had many enquiries from adults wishing to take part and this year we have decided to open the competition to anyone and everyone.

‘The rules are published on and you can download the rules and an entry form from there.  Please get your entry in by Saturday July 13 – we need to be able to plan the day.’

The task this year is to design and build a marble track within an envelope of one metre square and 500mm high. The marble should travel at least three metres on the course and preferably much further. You may use levers, springs or other devices to lift the marble and your marble may be used to trigger another marble which may then take over from the first.

The winning design will be the one where the marble takes the longest time and travels the longest distance. A point will be awarded for each 50 mm (or part of) travelled and for each five seconds (or part of) taken. Additional style points will be awarded for innovative solutions.

Rory continued: ‘ Entries are invited from individuals or teams of people living on the Isle of Arran. We all take engineering for granted, however few people actually realise how much the engineer supports our daily lives.  It would be fair to say that just about nobody in this day and age could get up, have breakfast and go to work or school were it not for the support of the engineer.

‘The engineering function is largely taken for granted but in reality is just about the most important support act enabling the human race to live comfortably – or at all.’

The competition will be judged by Rory Cowan, Donald McNicol and Charlie Smith and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three places. Entries must be submitted by no later than Saturday July 13.