Students Win Regional Final

Students from The Sir John Colfox Academy win Regional Final of the Land Rover/ Jaguar 4x4 in Schools Challenge & Scoop Up a Further Two Awards

Students at The Sir John Colfox Academy recently got competed in a cross curricular challenge offered by Land Rover/ Jaguar. It is a STEM challenge which incorporates four areas of the curriculum: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

The students involved had to design a shell for a remote controlled 4x4 rock crawler vehicle complete with automatic lights which come on in the dark and a tilt sensor which sounds when the vehicle tilts past 25 degrees. This is a challenge as it needed to be made to very precise specifications and in a limited time frame. They also needed to create a portfolio of their work, a pit display, a verbal presentation and code all of the electronics and fit them to the vehicle. All teams involved needed to raise all the money for materials and team T-shirts for the Regional final event themselves and so were involved in fundraising or asking for sponsorship.

We entered two teams of students and took both to the final. Our first team were called STEMatics and this team was made up of Toby, Ben, Zac, Sam, Jack and Danny. Our second team was called STEM Storm squared and was made up of, Eddie, Jake and Cara.

On the day of the final (which took place at Flybe training academy in Exeter on the 8thJanuary 2019), the students were judged on five different aspects. The first was the building of the car shell. They were grilled by three Land Rover/ Jaguar engineers on the design and manufacture of the shell. The judges also measured the car to ensure they met the precise specifications. Both teams’ cars did meet the requirements and they both received full marks on this which is excellent.

The second aspect of judging was their portfolio and pit display presenting their team information, logo, designs, manufacture process and evaluation.

The third task was to drive the car complete with new shell around an obstacle course to see how durable their shell was. They had to complete this in a time limit with penalties for knocking over cones or falling off the course. They also had to drive it around a course towing a trailer.

The fourth aspect was similar to the first but this time they were grilled by the engineers on their engineering skills. They needed to explain how they came up with their ideas, how they coded the electronics and fit them to the car and how they tested and refined their car.

Their final task was their verbal presentation in front of a Land Rover/ Jaguar Engineer and a STEM ambassador. For this, every team member had to speak and they were grilled again by the judges afterwards, not just about how they designed and built their car but also on aspects of the science and technology behind the making of actual Land Rover vehicles, the challenges they faced and overcame throughout the project as well as their personal interest in STEM careers in the future.

The feedback for both teams from the judges was excellent and they won first and second place. STEM storm squared will progress to the National Final in March and also won an award for the best engineered car. STEMatics came in second place. We are so proud of all of our students that took part, they put in hundreds of hours of work on this project over the last seven months.

STEM storm squared are now actively seeking new sponsorship to help get them to the National final. They need money for materials to refine their design and also for transport and accommodation costs as the final takes place in the British Transport Museum in Warwick for two days. They will compete against all the schools which won their regional final. Please contact the school if you work for a company that would be interested in sponsoring them. We wish them luck getting to the final and competing at a higher level, go STEM storm squared!

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