A team of students from Withernsea High School, North Humberside, experienced the thrills and excitement of off-road driving last week. The 'Withernsea Warriors' Harry Cornwall (15), Rob Spick (16), Rob Greaves (15) and Gary Whittaker (15), had won the opportunity after competing with school teams from around the country in the '4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge' to take the 2009 UK 4x4 in Schools Championship title.
The students’ efforts were rewarded with a day at the Yorkshire 4x4 off-road driving centre in Felixkirk, Thirsk. They enjoyed driving in fifty acres of inclines, drops, side slopes, ruts, mud and rocks with professional instructors and each student being given a chance to take over the steering wheel.
The 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge tasked groups of students to build remotely-controlled, four-wheel-drive vehicles. It had to be capable of negotiating challenging obstacles, on a model off-road track. The Withernsea Warriors worked tirelessly to develop their concept 4x4 and were delighted to win the competition and earn themselves the off-road driving experience.
Andrew Denford, Director of the 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge, said of the winning students, 'The boys had put so much effort into their remote control 4x4 and this paid off with the team winning their great day out. It’s the first time that they have driven a car and I’m sure it’s an experience which they will always remember.'
It was also a fitting conclusion to the 4x4 building project, with the chance to be behind the wheel of the real thing. The 4x4 Technology Challenge has been welcomed by schools as a programme which fits into the curriculum and raises awareness, interest and enthusiasm in engineering through the practical application of design and technology, mathematics and science. The project is indebted to the support of its sponsors, Land Rover, IET, Denford and JCB who help make the challenge possible.
The initiative has grown in popularity since its inception five years ago and is welcomed for its relevance to careers and skills for the workplace. The manufacturing industry requires creative, multi-disciplined individuals who are capable of problem solving through individual endeavour and working in motivated teams. This project reflects these attributes, with the Challenge requiring students to come together to resolve a complex problem, sharing intellectual and practical resources in the pursuit of an innovative solution. It is an excellent opportunity for students to work in design teams and gain an awareness and understanding of key skills and project management.
The challenge is fully mapped to the National Curriculum and examination qualifications. Resources enable any school to deliver the initiatives as a full part of the normal curriculum between the ages of 11 to 19. For further information about the 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge visit www.4x4inSchools.co.uk click here for 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge