A group of year 8 children from Barrow Hills School in Surrey are celebrating their success at reaching the national finals of an international design and technology challenge – the Land Rover 4×4 in Schools.
Led by Russell Fisher, Head of Design & Technology the team of six, girls and boys, have designed and built their own radio controlled 4 x 4 vehicle. The competition required that the car is capable of successfully negotiating a specially designed track which emulates real life whilst offering the same driving performance of a fully scaled 4 x 4 in an off-road situation.
To reach the national finals (due to be held at Silverstone on 28th March 2017) the children were certainly put through their paces by the judges when they attended the regional heats at the Ben Ainslie Racing HQ in Portsmouth last month.
Competing for their ‘place on the winner’s podium’ the children were required to demonstrate their engineering skills and pass the engineering interview panel; put forward a team pit display and present a portfolio for scrutiny; make a presentation to the judging panel and of course, demonstrate the car’s performance prowess in the track and trailer tow tests!
The Barrow Hills’ team was awarded the ‘wild card’ trophy (Judges’ Discretionary Award) and is now invited to spend the day at the Silverstone Paddock to do it all again! The children are likely to be the youngest contenders at the finals since the competition generally attracts entries from sixth form students.
Commenting on the children’s success to date, Headmaster Sean Skehan said: “We are immensely proud of our young engineers who have already achieved so much by reaching the national finals of this prestigious competition. The bar is set very high by Land Rover and the challenges are likely to stretch even the most able students. The School is committed to raising the profile of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects and in particular, to encouraging girls to consider these options, so the fact that we have a mixed gender team representing us at an international competition is a real coup.”