Jaguar Primary School Challenge – Regional Finals

10:00 hrs – 23/05/17 – RAF Cosford

As proud sponsors, we were kindly invited down to watch the regional finals take place at the iconic RAF Cosford Museum. Nestled in between a Pave Low Helicopter and several other historic aircraft, 12 displays were set up by 12 individual teams of primary school children, who have taken on Jaguar Land Rovers challenge. (For details of the challenge, please visit the “Next Generation Engineers” post) We were amazed at the level of detail that the pupils had put into them, from the portfolios and pit displays, to the final design of the cars they had built to race. Countless hours’ worth of work in CAD and CAM programs came down to this day, the Regional Final. The winner of this will advance to the National final, so there was a lot at stake.

Judge & Jury

The teams are judged on several different categories – Pit Display & Portfolio, Verbal Presentation, Specification, Engineering, and finally, the speed of the car on the track. Each of these categories have their own judging teams who use key performance indicators to award points to the teams. Pit Display & Portfolio, Verbal Presentation, Specification and Engineering was judged first, which took us through to lunchtime. Hearing how the pupils tested different designs, chose the team names and how the sponsors money helped with development, really showed how the project had helped them develop new skills.

Go Go Go!!

After a well-deserved bite to eat, we returned to the iconic Pave Low where we saw the track had been setup by the Jaguar Land Rover team. It consisted of a 2 lane, elevated drag-strip, complete with start and finish lines. At the start, there were two triggers and a launch system in front of a countdown and timed start grid board. The board displayed counters for reaction times and overall drag time. The cars were powered by tiny gas canisters that the Jaguar Land Rover team attached when the cars were ready to race, they were then guided by string to the finish line. A countdown of lights is then shown on the start board and the triggers had to be pressed when the lights went out. It then took around 1.2 seconds for each of the cars to fly down the 20-meter strip to the finish line – which was then usually followed by a roar of cheer from the schools teams. Each team raced each other using the reaction racing mechanism twice in each lane.

Awards anybody?

After the race had finished, the scores were tallied up and the winners announced in the presentation room. Each judging category had their own winner, as well as an overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd placing, with the overall winner going through to the National finals. The room fell silent as the judges started to call up the winners of the earlier judging categories. Perry Hall School unfortunately didn’t make it into the national finals, however, they did win the Pit Display and Portfolio award. A very well done indeed and a brilliant first year at the F1 in Schools challenge.

To wrap up

Overall, the day was brilliant, all teams had done an outstanding job and shown a passion towards engineering. The Jaguar Land Rover team have set up an amazing project that really pushes the children into new areas of learning. It also gives them a glimpse of real world experience by putting them in teams with pupils they hadn’t really spoken to before, enabling them to build bridges and even bring some of the shyer children out of their shell.

We just want to say thank you to Perry Hall School, especially Danielle for giving us the opportunity to be involved in such an amazing project. Also, thank you to Mrs Mees for inviting us down to the regional finals, and last, but not least, the Jaguar Land Rover team for their hospitality.