Junior Schools Design and Technology Challenge - Schools Together
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Junior Schools Design and Technology Challenge

In the summer term, Year five students from local Primary Schools can engage in an annual competition which is organised and funded by Ashford School. In teams of four they design and build an electric racing car using the resources and equipment within our department. During the support sessions students are taught how to use our computer aided design software and laser cutter to manufacture a chassis and vacuum former to create the body of their racing car. On race day, which is typically in June, each School competes against the others to see who has created the fastest and more reliable race car.

Aims

Our aim is to enable young students who have an interest in design and engineer to immerse themselves in a design challenge that goes beyond their normal experiences at School, to introduce them to new processes and to encourage teamwork, leadership and a competitive spirit. Much of the feedback to date has been related to the fact that these students have been able to learn / use software and equipment that isn’t available at their School.

Background

To date there have been two race days. The event was born from our annual Year 5 Prep School design challenge day which I wanted to develop to include local Primary Schools.

Resources

The Design and Technology department support the event through a combination of staff support, funding and the use of the department’s spaces and resources.

The event typically requires 25 hours of staff time.

In the past Year 12 and 13 D&T students have assisted with the support sessions and race day – a lovely and very welcome resource.

The cost depends on the number of Schools and teams involved but the cost is generally around £300 for 10 teams.

Impact

They build, race and take home their car. From speaking to some of the staff following the event I am aware that several give a whole school assembly about the event.

Pupil Involvement

Four Year 5 students - one or two teams per School. Those studying D&T at Ashford School get involved in supporting the teams as they design, manufacture and race their cars.

Frequency

Annual event held in the Trinity term.