A group of Motor Vehicle students from Hugh Baird College have won through to the national final of Jaguar Land Rover’s 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge.
The competition is an enhancement and enrichment STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) initiative that gives young people an insight into what it takes to become an engineer. Aimed at 11 – 19 year olds, it involves team members working together to design and build a radio controlled 4-wheel-drive (4x4) vehicle to set specifications. The finished vehicle must be able to successfully negotiate a specially designed Land Rover test track, emulating what a full scale 4x4 vehicle can do.
Two Hugh Baird College teams were entered in the North West regional heats of the Challenge, with six students per team, all on Motor Vehicle courses. The first team, ‘The Bat Mo Bairds’ won a trophy for ‘Best Innovative Thinking’. The second team, ‘HBC Motorsport’ won their class and came away with ‘Best Rookie’ which qualifies them to compete at the National Finals on the 27th March. Their success marks a winning streak for the team after their triumph at the Vauxhall ‘Build a Car’ competition where they won first prize for their ‘water rocket car’.
The group’s tutor Lisa Morgan, said:
“The students have been really passionate about entering the 4x4 Challenge and have spent their enrichment sessions at College researching, designing and project managing the construction of their radio controlled vehicle. They’ve done a great job, beating off tough competition to get through to the National Finals and they’ll be competing against the best in the country. We’ll be cheering them on all the way.”
Paula Rowland, Hugh Baird College’s Director of Engineering, said:
“This project has captured the imagination of the learners and has helped them to fully realise the huge range of career opportunities available to them in the motor industry. I wish them every success at the finals.”
John Kirkham is one of the students taking part. Speaking after the Regional heats, he said:
“We gain hands on experience every day during our course at Hugh Baird College, but adding that competitive element to the work has inspired us. As well as building the car and making the required alterations, we’ve also had to secure sponsorship and promote our team through social media. We’re looking forward to going to the finals and we think we’ve got a great chance of winning.”
Hugh Baird College is firmly at the forefront of Engineering and Motor Vehicle education with apprenticeships and full time courses, including a newly launched qualification linked to the UK’s highly successful and lucrative Motorsport sector.
College Principal and Chief Executive, Yana Williams said:
“Ensuring our curriculum reflects areas of the economy which can provide our learners with fantastic career opportunities is at the heart of the decisions we take and the motorsport qualification is just one example of this. The Land Rover Challenge is a great way of showing our students just how valuable their qualification is and what doors it could open for them in the future.”
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