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Students from across the UK gathered at the Motor Heritage Centre Museum, Gaydon for the UK national final of the Land Rover 4X4 in Schools Technology Challenge, one of the most coveted school STEM challenge trophies. Added emphasis was on this years’ challenge as the winners would be going forward to represent the UK in the inaugural 4X4 in Schools World Final.
The challenge is open to teams of 11 - 19 year olds who have to design and build a remote controlled 4x4 vehicle capable of meeting strict scrutineering and completing a lap of the ‘off road’ course set by the organiser. This course was unveiled to the students during the opening ceremony and featured several challenging obstacles using a Range Rover Vogue SE as its central point. Prior to taking on the driving challenge, the teams had to give a verbal presentation to a team of judges, brought in from Premium Partner and sponsor companies, including WNT (UK). They also have a ‘pit lane walkabout to contend with, where their projects are laid out for scrutiny by the public and VIPs in attendance.
In total 25 teams made it to the National final, with 100 students involved. At the end of a long and tiring day the winners were finally announced with Clyst Valley School in Devon, or the Clystalians, celebrating with the award of the prestigious Land Rover 4X4 in Schools Technology Challenge trophy, along with an Arkwright scholarship from Land Rover, a £1,000 scholarship for Harper Adams University, and a Land Rover 4x4 Track Experience.
In addition to the overall title the Clystalians also took the prize for the Best Track Performance Award for their skills on the off road course. Engineering skills obviously are in the genes down in Devon as Clyst Valley Community school also celebrated with third place overall, with its team of ‘Supacats’ joining Clystalians on the podium, with a team of students from The King’s School in Worcester coming a close second.
Highlighting the technology and teamwork involved, Zacc Tullett, Team Manager for Cystalians said, “We are delighted to win the Land Rover 4x4 UK Final and are really looking forwards to taking part in the World Final in June. I think the secret of our success is great teamwork. We used a lightweight aviation grade carbon fibre and Kevlar body which helped us win the ‘Best Track Performance’ award. The Challenge has really shown us the career opportunities available in engineering and at least two of us are now interested in pursuing engineering careers.”
Speaking as one of the Premium Partners of the Land Rover 4x4 Challenge Tony Pennington, Managing Director, WNT (UK) said: “Our involvement with the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge has grown over the years because we realise that by enthusing children at an early age about design and manufacture, that interest will, hopefully, remain with them as they make career choices. By partnering with the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Challenge we are building on our long standing commitment to support schools and colleges with cutting tool technology and technical support.”
Les Ratcliffe, Head of Community Relations for Jaguar Land Rover said, “The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Challenge demonstrates the importance and relevance of STEM subjects and we hope it will encourage more youngsters to consider careers in engineering and manufacturing. The students have demonstrated a depth of understanding in vehicle design, development, research and manufacturing which goes far beyond the classroom teaching. The standard of the vehicles and level of knowledge and enthusiasm of the teams are very impressive. Congratulations to ‘Clystalians’ on winning the UK final and best of luck to them for the world finals in June."
Andrew Denford, Chairman of Engineering in Motion, which runs the Land Rover 4x4 Challenge, commented: “Engineering in Motion is proud to manage the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge which increases the engagement of young people with STEM subjects through the practical application of design and technology, mathematics and science. It is an excellent opportunity for students to work in teams and gain an awareness and understanding of key skills and project management.”
A total of 12 awards were presented on the day that highlighted the hard work and high standards of work produced by the teams of students.
Full list of winners:
UK Champions: Clystalians, Clystvale Community College, Broadclyst, Devon
2nd Place and England Champions: Vertical Horizon, The King’s School, Worcester
3rd Place: Supacats, Clystvale Community College, Broadclyst, Devon
Scotland Champions: The Doc’s Woodfarm High School, East Renfrewshire
Best Engineered Vehicle Award: The Choughs, Reed’s School, Cobham
Research & Design Award: Kirri Kenex, Webster’s High School, Kirriemuir, Angus
Innovative Thinking Award: 2FAST, Richard Hale School, Hertford
Sponsorship & Marketing Award: Supergrediatur, Pangbourne College, Berkshire
Best Track Performance Award: Clystalians, Clystvale Community College, Broadclyst, Devon
Judges Discretionary Award: Green Army, Royal Grammar School, Worcester
Team Identity Award: Pink Lemonade, The Priory Academy LSST, Lincoln
Rookie Team Award: Kanga, St.Olave’s Grammar School, Orpington
The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge was developed by Land Rover and is managed by Engineering in Motion a not-for-profit organisation funded by generous support from lead sponsors Jaguar Land Rover and supporting sponsors and partners the Institution of Engineering and Technology, WNT, Denford Limited, LUKE, Raspberry Pi and Harper Adams University.
For further information about the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools technology challenge visit www.4x4inschools.co.uk.