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Canfordians heading to National Engineering Finals with best performance to date
Sixth Form engineers at Canford are celebrating winning the Jaguar Land Rover South West Regional finals in the Professional Class at the Bristol and Bath Science Park on 25th February and as a result move through to the National Finals of the competition at Jaguar Land Rover HQ in the Midlands on 23rd March.
Now in its 13th year, the challenge involves between three and six team members working together to design and build a radio controlled four-wheel drive (4x4) vehicle, to set specifications. The vehicle must be able to successfully negotiate a specially designed test track emulating real life and it must perform as a full scale 4x4 vehicle would do in an off-road situation. The aim of the project is to raise awareness, interest and enthusiasm in engineering through the practical application of Design & Technology, Mathematics and Science.
‘Team Alpha Evac’, comprising five Lower Sixth pupils, were judged best for track performance, best engineered car and 1st in the professional class overall. This is the best result for Canford in its history of entering the competition. Judges also commented on the professionalism of the Canford team, mentioning the clear, engaged and courteous manner in which they spoke to visitors who toured the pit lanes. Air Commodore Rob Woods, a guest, was so impressed that he has offered to support the Canford engineers by linking them up with his contacts working on similar real life current projects, which would be a fantastic opportunity.
Two other teams from Canford also competed in the finals. ‘Team Tip Ride’, a Shell and Fourth Form team, had a great day with a very creditable track run and were awarded Best Team Identity by the judges, who loved the surfing theme with the crew dressed in Hawaiian outfits!
Meanwhile a Fourth Form crew, ‘Team Horizon’, suffered a catastrophic failure in their coding which required a late reworking of the whole control system but remained determined and undaunted by this setback and managed a good track run and a very creditable performance in other areas despite not having the main feature of their focus in a working order.
Jon Martin, Head of Design Technology, was delighted with achievements and approach of all three teams:
“The Land Rover 4x4 Challenge in Schools is now a firm fixture in our annual DT calendar. Preparation for the event requires dedication and the development of significant engineering techniques and skills and I am always impressed by our pupils’ efforts and enthusiasm for their projects. We have competed at the finals in the past, but this year’s performance by Team Alpha Evac raised the Canford bar to new levels and I am delighted for the entire crew. Equally I was very pleased with the performance of our younger teams, who did extremely well despite some setbacks. All pupils involved should be rightly proud of their achievements and they were a credit to Canford. A fantastic engineering learning experience all round.”
For more information about the competition, please visit http://www.4x4inschools.com/home/