Engineering Competition

Arran Engineering Competition 2019

To be held in the Church Hall, Lamlash on Saturday 20th July 2019

The competition is open to anybody living on the Isle of Arran. You may have assistance from anyone you like, however you have to demonstrate your device yourself. Each entry can be from an individual or a group of no more than four.

The objective of this competition is to make you think of a solution, design it and build your entry.

The Task

You are to design, build and demonstrate your entry for this competition and should be ready to answer questions from the judges. The team is to appoint a captain who is to lead any discussion with the judges.

The task is to design and build a marble track within an envelope of one metre square and 500mm high. Your marble should travel at least 3 metres on the course and preferably much further. You may use levers, springs or other devices to lift the marble. Your marble may be used to ‘trigger’ another marble which may then take over from the first.

Your effort will be marked on the basis of distance travelled and time taken – the longer the better in both cases. Additional marks will be awarded for elegant and innovative solutions such as marble changes and trigger mechanisms.

You are to design and build a device to do this. You may use any materials you wish and there is no restriction in the size of your design save that the track may not exceed the size of the envelope detailed above. The device will need to be portable so that you can get it to the judging site.

The start position. Your marble may be started by release, push or trigger and thereafter you may not touch your device until the final marble has stopped.

The winning design is the one that 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 5 seconds (or part of) taken. Additional style points will be awarded for innovative solutions.

Date and time of Competition: Saturday 20th July 2019 starting at 09:30

Venue: Lamlash Church Hall

Judges: Rory Cowan, Donald McNicol, Charlie Smith

1. If the oldest person in the team is aged 12 or under then the team will have 7% added to their total score.
2. Competitors will indicate they are ready to start, the judges will say ‘GO’ and the clock will start.
3. The clock will stop when the last marble comes to rest.
4. Up to 3% of your marks may be added for a good presentation.
5. Supply your own marbles, or use the ones provided. Note there are minor differences between marbles so be prepared to tune your device accordingly.
6. You may seek assistance for design and construction of your entry, but you are to demonstrate your device yourself and must be able to answer a number of questions about how it works, how you came to decide on the design and your choice of materials.
7. Start early and think how you are going to build your solution – if you leave it to the last moment you will not give yourself the best chance of winning. Use whoever you like to help you reach a competitive solution – except either of the judges!

1st. £50
2nd. £30
3rd. £20

Entries should be in one week before the competition date i.e. 13 July.
Entries should be submitted on an entry form available from from Donald McNicol Kebars, Kings Cross. KA27 8RG. Email:
Or Rory Cowan, October Cottage, Kildonan KA27 8SE. Email:
You can also download and print the entry form here: Entry form 2019_HRC

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