Jim Waddell

Club Network Leadership Awards

Jim waddell has run an after school technology club at Cullompton Community College for the last ten years. Affiliated to the Young Engineers network since the “Diving Now” challenge in 2000, Jim initially started the club four years earlier in response to students who were keen to build race karts. This sport proved impossibly expensive and so the relatively cheap alternative of hovercraft racing was started. Since 1996 Jim has overseen the construction and maintenance of four hovercraft by a succession of students. During several weekends for many summers now, the craft have been taken to meetings, where students are able to experience the unique challenge of maintaining and racing these home made amphibious machines in very competitive and basic surroundings. In October 2004 Jim took twelve students and one hovercraft to Blackpool beach to film BBC 2`s “Geronemo” series . The Club won this National challenge which Jim had spotted on the Young Engineers website only three weeks earlier!2005 continued to be busy for Jim and the Club with an appearance on Blue Peter in January, a visit by the Young Engineers judges in June, a Greenpower debut at Castle Coombe in July, a Young Engineers Annual Celebration Awards in September , the summer-long hovercraft racing and, of course the fund raising ( Jim organizes sponsored bike rides and supermarket bag packing to raise the £2000 a year that the club now costs). New projects for 2006 include the Schools Marine Challenge, Greenpower mark II, Youth “Hovergo” day in Cullompton and securing sponsorship from the Alcoa Foundation for an improved workshop/storage facility for the hovercraft.