HOW do you transport a radio-active meteorite – that was the dilemma faced by hundreds of schoolchildren who took part in a technology tournament.

The event, organised by Basingstoke Rotary clubs, was held at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT), where 20 teams from schools and colleges in the borough competed against each other.

The students were set the diffi-cult task of designing and building a gripping device so that the meteorite, represented as a tennis ball, could be removed from a box from a safe distance.

The difficulty of the challenge increased depending on the age of the team. Each team was given various materials to use, including wood, elastic bands, wire and screws to build their device.

Harry Nicoll, 15, from Fort Hill Community School, said: “We made a fishing rod to get the meteorite out of the box. It was challenging so it’s good because it’s not easy. It made us think outside the box.”

Judges decided the winners based on various criteria including team work, planning, understand-ing the problem, quality, and completing the task accurately.

Basingstoke and Deane Mayor Councillor Dan Putty awarded trophies to the winning teams in each of the three categories – Team 2, from The Aldworth School, won the foundation class; Team 4, from Fort Hill, won the immediate class; and Team 2, from Queen Mary’s College, won the advanced class.

Chris Flemming, president of The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Loddon, who organised the annual competition, said: “The teams were judged on how successful they were in carrying out the task.

“We do this because we want to promote technology and engineering in schools, and have a competition that’s fun as well and enjoyable.