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Cobham students smash Land Rover tech challenge

Published Friday 8th of February 2019 12:18:12 PM

Three student teams from ACS Cobham International School received awards as part of the ‘Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge.’ The challenge involved student teams working together to design and build a radio-controlled four-wheel drive (4x4) vehicle to specifications set by real-life Jaguar Land Rover engineers. Each vehicle had to negotiate a specially designed test track which emulated real life and judges expected models to perform as a full scale 4x4 vehicle would do in an off-road situation. “Students have spent many early morning, late evening and weekend hours working hard on their four-wheel models, as well as on the marketing and branding of their designs – another part of the challenge,” comments Dr Karolina Hammer, high school maths teacher at ACS Cobham. Three student teams, named Team Utopia, Team Shakedown and Team Feasko, took their radio-controlled model cars to the regional championships at Harlow College in Essex where they competed against 20 other groups. Teams were provided with the ‘Land Rover 4x4 in Schools starter kit’ containing a remote-controlled vehicle, battery and charger. However, young engineers had to manufacture their own vehicle bodies either by hand, using a 3D printer or with computer-aided machinery as well as create the cars’ electrics including lights and tilt sensors. Team Shakedown received the ‘Best Portfolio Award’ and was the overall second place winner at the regional finals which means the students will go on to compete in the nationals in March, held at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. Dr Hammer adds: “Each team, which operated as a mini-business, was seriously focussed on designing the Land Rover of the future and individual members took on different roles such as project management, communication, marketing and engineering. This challenge has been the perfect opportunity to put classroom-based skills into practice and let imaginations run wild!” The national competition will see the most successful teams from the UK compete for a chance to represent the country at the World Championships. When considering the awards, judges wanted to see that teams understood how the vehicle’s suspension, chassis, wheels and drive train, interacted with each other to get around the course. Fellow ACS Cobham students, Team Utopia was highly praised winning the ‘Best Sponsorship and Marketing Award’, whilst Team Feasko received the ‘Best Team Identity Award’. Benedikt, from Team Shakedown, commented: “The hardest part of the challenge was finding an original design for our radio-controlled model. We trialled lots of different versions to see what the best shape would be for getting around a mini-off road course. I can’t wait to try out our car at the national finals.”
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