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* As part of Meccano's centenary celebrations, pupils aged seven to nine in groups of up to six are beingchallenged this term to design transport vehicles of the future. The competition will be judged regionally with the finalists being invited to the Science Museum in London on June 15. The winner will receive an individual and class prize and all finalists receive a Meccano vehicle made to their own specifications. For details tel: Bridget Blair, 0181 742 7898.

* With the Youthbike scheme, groups from schools and youth clubs rebuild a donor motorcycle over a period of a year. As well as learning skills such as welding, they are required to make plans and see them through, and implement health and safety measures in the workshop. For information pack, tel: Tony Nightingale on 01507 522482 or send large SAE to: The Area Youth Office, Cagthorpe, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6HW.

* The Royal Navy and Young Engineers are offering pound;1,000 to the school which can devise a solution to a seamanship problem. At present, when ships take on water, food or fuel from a tanker at sea they use a rope. The distance is critical - get too close and they are sucked into collision; stray too far apart, and the fuel line snaps. Ideas on an electronic method of measuring the distance between the ships and feeding the information straight to the bridges should be submitted by January 29. Details from Vision PR on 0171 823 3799 or

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