North East Connected

Youngsters take on their elders in international Land Rover design competition

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 13.43.38BUDDING car designers showed they had the drive to succeed after winning through to the national finals of a prestigious competition.

For the second year running, students from Barnard Castle School will compete in the final stages on Friday (April 22) of a model 4×4 design contest run by global car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover.

The team of young automotive experts is putting the final touches to a remote controlled vehicle in time for the final judging.

At the regional heat in Newcastle they competed against much older students securing the judges’ discretionary award, giving them a place at the finals, which will be held at Silverstone, the spiritual home of Formula 1.

The Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge is an international contest aimed at key stage 3, 4 and 5 students in school and young people aged 11-19 in any out of school initiative, such as STEM Clubs, Scouts, Cadets, Guides or Youth Clubs.

The challenge involves team members working together to design and build a radio controlled 4×4 vehicle, to set specifications, that can successfully negotiate a specially designed test track that emulates real life and what a full scale off-roader can achieve.

The challenge provides the opportunity for young people to work in teams and gain an awareness and understanding of project management using key skills.

Barnard Castle School students have spent months honing and perfecting their car, which is made from wood and plastic and includes parts manufactured with hi-tech 3D printing.

This year’s team is led by Matthew Forster, Year 8 team leader and design engineer, with Tristan Te Lintelo, Year 7 electronics engineer and CAD, Jack Hatton, Year 7 modification engineer and test driver, Oliver Allison, Year 7 research and presentation designer and Ben Thompson, Year 7 resource manager.

Since the regional heat they have worked to improve their 4×4 vehicle fitting it with automatic headlights, improving axle articulation, reducing weight and ensuring it is water-tight so the electric motor doesn’t short.

Judges will also assess their performance based on driving technique, technical knowledge, a design portfolio and organisational and presentation skills.

The team has also had to negotiate sponsorship deals with Propipe, Thompson Builders and Reeth Garage.

Design technology teacher Phil Oakley said: “All the team are interested in careers in engineering and this competition is helping them develop their skills, including teamwork and project management.

“They have been using technologies such as the Solid Works computer aided design software, laser cutters, 3D printing, electronics and programming. With a national drive to push STEM, this competition is proving an ideal opportunity to encourage the next generation of engineers, which are so badly needed for this country’s future prosperity.”

Jack said: “Our family has a Defender, a Range Rover and a Discovery so it has been great for me to create my own Land Rover using some of the latest techniques.”

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