Jerry, Adrian - I'm really pleased to see your interest in
supporting the Schools competitions and I will support your endeavours in any
way I can.
Last year's Y2K Micromouse Grand Prix was superbly organised
and run by the IEE - and Christine Faulkner did some fine work in
coordinating everything. What a shame that the carpet has been pulled out
from under her feet for this year.
I absolutely agree that the IEE need to urgently announce the
state of play for this year.
As a practising teacher, (too) heavily involved in producing
entries for these sorts of competitions, can I make a few
a) Schools will need to know very
soon if a competition is planned for this year - school diaries are fixed well
b) Dates are vital - the summer term is a
chaotic one with exams, leaves of absence, residential trips, holidays
etc. There are also pressures from other related competitions such as
Young Engineers and Young Electronic Designer Awards. Some pupils build 2D
mice as GCSE projects, so they should be finished by mid-May. I would
suggest a competition date in mid-June - most GCSE/A-level exams are over by
c) I felt that the format of last year's
Schools competition was good, but the Formula 1 (3D maze) needs to be dropped
from the Schools competition - it's too much of a challenge. Recommend you
keep both 2D competitions and the Rat Race (a line-following Dragster
competition - very challenging, demanding acceleration, directional control and
automatic braking - and anyway, Verminator wants his
d) Do you want to hold regional heats and
then a Grand Final, as last year? Depends on number of
e) Venues - A mid-country venue is very
welcome (Birmingham/Nottingham perhaps ideal?). Manchester sounds good
(for us!) and might encourage more northern (Scottish?) involvement.
Absolutley no offence meant Adrian, but London again? Every school
competition seems to end up in/near London!
Hope this is of help.