Jaguar F1 Primary Schools’ Challenge

On Thursday 19th April, three Year 5 boys represented St Edward’s Prep School at the Jaguar F1 Primary Schools’ Challenge at UTC Reading. Seven teams from across the South of England took part in a series of challenges that were scored by a panel of judges from the engineering industry. The children were tasked with presenting their work in a variety of formats; reporting on what they had learnt throughout the project their design and testing process, the challenges that they had overcome as well as fielding a series of technical questions. The boys had been extremely busy over the course of several weeks beforehand designing, testing and evaluating their racing car as well as preparing all of the necessary paperwork and pit display and were eager to compete in the race. Before they could do so, their car was subjected to heavy scrutiny to ensure adherence to the racing specifications. With anticipation building, it was a huge relief when the judges announced that they were fully satisfied, and the car was ready to race…

The track consisted of an elevated 20m surface complete with starting lights and a laser-timed finish line. The cars were powered by carbon dioxide gas canisters and were tethered to prevent them from flying off into the audience, although one car did attempt to take-off nonetheless. All of the teams produced fast times and, with St Edward’s last to race, it proved to be a nerve-wracking experience for the children and teachers alike. Haider recorded the fastest time for St Edward’s of 1.61 seconds, which equates to a speed of 28 mph. Unfortunately, this was not fast enough to win the fastest car award but the boys thoroughly enjoyed the experience. They behaved like true gentlemen all day, were happy to greet the other teams and share their ideas; even giving technical advice to a team that weren’t familiar with the rules. It was an excellent learning opportunity for the boys, who have fully embraced the STEAM curriculum, and gave them a feel for the skills necessary for the successful completion of a complex engineering project. We look forward to competing again next year.

Dr Cane-Honeysett.