The challenge was launched to 10 schools at a southeast schools network meeting in April. Each participating school received a self-assembly kit car and accessories. This was to promote
• the challenge / independent learning it provides students in a fun and STEM relevant way.
• it’s access to a curriculum area that is under developed in schools.
• inspire students to consider career opportunities and progression within the engineering world.
• the potential for group work and team building activities.
Our teams developed their knowledge and understanding of engineering and aerodynamic principles as well as build an interest in sustainable, green power through the construction, modification and racing of an electric powered radio controlled vehicle during the summer team. We kept a video / photo diary documenting the learning and development process through the vehicles construction. This will lead to our pupils receiving to a silver or gold CREST award.
On race day, teams were judged on
1. A timed STEM team challenge which meant they had to build a robot footballer.
2. Science and maths questions session.
3. Aesthetic / aerodynamic modifications made to the vehicle bodywork.
4. Individual time trials – a test of speed.
5. Team obstacle racing – a test of endurance and control.
It was my absolute pleasure to be a part of this team of extraordinary students who put in time and effort, working together to modify our buggy. Unfortunately we could only take 10 pupils up to the event, but there were more who contributed. Our pupils behaved impeccably and did us proud as they completed each task. It was fantastic that Durrington High School came 3rd overall in this event.
STEM CHALLENGE BLOGS
Alex Linfield 8LMi
Over 8 weeks, me and a few others have been making and modifying a remote control car. As the competition was hosted in my form room, by my form teacher, this alerted me to the challenge that was STEM challenge. I found myself interested straight away, let the challenge begin! On the first meeting, I realised the expertise that members of my group had, one in particular knew exactly what new parts to get: a new brushless engine/motor, new shock absorbers and a new ESC to work with the new motor. Once we had finished building the car we went up to Midhurst to race. After completing the starter activities, we got down to business. Up first, the time trials, we didn’t do very well due to a wrong setting on the remote. Once that was fixed, next was the obstacle course we came second due to the excellent driving of a team member. Finally we went out to find the results, we came 3rd! After a long day we got back to school, raced our car around the tennis courts then went home.
Victoria Stratford 8LMi
The thing I most enjoyed through the day was pretty much all of it; meeting new people, having a challenge at the beginning and as expected – the racing. It was an amazing day, being able to race something you helped to build. Next year I would love to do it again but maybe if there was more competition as well as we can always keep the thing we build.
Catherine Edwards 8LMi
We first went into the Midhurst Rother College and we were instructed by a member of staff into this theatre hall. Inside there was a quick quiz and a task for us to complete. After we played this amazing game of robot football, we went outside and ate our lunch. After eating we quickly went and charged our vehicle and was ready to race. All the schools were competing against each other and there was about 3 different races to complete. 1 – one lap around the track. 2 – all schools v each other with 5 laps. 3 – Obstacle course. The race I enjoyed the most was probably where all the schools v each other or the obstacle because it felt like everyone was a team. I am very pleased that we got to keep out vehicle and managed to get 3rd. I really enjoyed this event and I’m definitely going to take part in the years to come.
Shakib Rashid 10JGa
I thought it would be great if I were to enter the competition as I have good experience on radio controlled vehicles. I created a monster, achieving and exceeding the structural integrity of the vehicle itself and using a lithium powered battery never used in this kind of setup before as it has a risk of exploding, catching fire and leak if punctured or overcharged. We have created a car that can run from once side of the school courts to the other in 5 seconds, no exaggeration, spitting stones out of it’s rear. I have learnt many things from this experience, such as super-gluing the tires to the wheel or else it shears it off clean exposing the inner foam. Furthermore, we were allowed to keep it, after some negotiations, perhaps now we could stand it on a plinth, to be desired and remembered.
Kaine Divall 8JRo
We had to do a team activity, we were separated between Durrington 1 and Durrington 2. We had to build a robot that could move a ball around a pitch and score. If we didn’t score within a certain amount of time it went to the most aggressive player. After that we went out to lunch. Then we headed to the tennis courts where we did time trials, we didn’t do very well in the time trials. After that was the obstacle course, we did well even though we lost 3 penalty points and we finished 2nd in that race. The we went in for a celebration in the canteen. We came 3rd but we got told the winner kept the car, but we got to keep ours because it was modified. The best part was when we got back and were racing it around our courts.
Cameron Suter 9SBo
I have taken pride in building the car. I helped out with the painting. I have enjoyed racing the car and building a mini robot to play football. My best part was racing another school when I came first and my time was 14 seconds around the circuit. I was pretty proud of that. If we got to improve the car I would make it easier to turn and I would let other people have a go too.