A team of five pupils from a leading independent school in Teesside is celebrating reaching the national final of the STEM-focused Jaguar Primary School Challenge.
The all-girl team, Edie Shotton Cracknell, Olivia Dolan, Sophie Stewart, Harriet Williams and Isabella Hirst, from Red House School in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees were victorious in the inaugural North East event, and will now represent the region against 35 of the best teams from across the country in the national final.
The Jaguar Primary School Challenge is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) competition, open to pupils aged six to eleven, and involves designing and engineering the fastest car possible, following the processes employed by real engineering companies like Jaguar Land Rover.
In the challenge, teams of young children design, make, test and race a miniature race car. Pupils use computer techniques and foundation engineering skills to create a car which is fired along a 20 metre track by a compressed air canister.
Steven Wilkinson, head of design and technology at Red House School, said: “The Jaguar competition has been such an exciting and engaging event for the pupils to be a part of.
“It’s really helped build their confidence and it was great to see how professionally the girls presented their ideas to the industry judges.”
To prepare for the initial regional event, the Red House team attended the STEM after school club where, as well as designing and making cars, they prepared a verbal and visual demonstration of their work.
Pupils are judged on all elements of their work including a written portfolio, a project presentation and an explanation of their engineering designs to a panel of experts from Jaguar Land Rover, in addition to the all-important track racing.
Steven continued: “Not only does the event promote designing and engineering skills, it also allows development of leadership and teamwork, and is helping to build a strong foundation for their STEM subjects as they progress in their education.
“Our teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the first stage and despite being nervous they put 100 per cent effort into their entries.”
For the national final on June 20th at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, the team is evaluating and improving their designs, and have arranged a trip to Nissan’s engineering department to test their models.
Victoria Perry, global social impact manager, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We need more bright, young minds to join Jaguar Land Rover and help us design and create our innovative future vehicles and technologies.
“As well as being fun and providing an insight into the world of engineering, we hope the competition sparks an early interest in STEM subjects and inspires students to become our next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers.”
For more information about Red House School, which hosts regular inter-school events in topics as wide-ranging as science, Maths, English and Sports, contact Sarah Tomlinson, head of marketing, on 01642 553370.
The school can also be found on Twitter: @RedHouseSchool, Facebook: @redhouseschooluk and Instagram: @redhouseschool, or visit www.redhouseschool.co.uk.