challenge winners


Saint-Gobain PAM UK has sponsored a team of budding engineers from Year 4 at Balsall Common Primary School, which has won the F1 primary school challenge Midlands Regional Final held at Princethorpe College in Rugby on April 28th.
The challenge involved the team of nine year olds designing and building a car from cardboard using computer aided design software, analysing and testing the aerodynamics of their cars and even approaching businesses for sponsorship.
Lightning Strike, the Balsall Common Primary School team’s winning design, powered its way down a 100ft track in just under 2 seconds. All of the cars entered from teams throughout the Midlands were powered by the same compressed air unit.
Says Mark Esling, business development director from Saint-Gobain PAM UK: "Industry really needs to encourage children’s interest in science and engineering and the younger they can find such a passion the better. Initiatives such as the F1 in Schools competition inject real excitement, so we are naturally delighted to support it in whatever way we can."
Following on from their regional success, the year 4 Lightning Strike team will be entering the national finals to be held in Richoh Arena, Coventry in early July. 
Howard Rose, Funding & Publicity Manager at Balsall Common Primary School, commented that, "We are always looking for new ways to excite our pupils as part of their learning. The F1 Schools Challenge is a fantastic way to encourage children into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects. The project is taken on by all 90 of our year 4 students, with the best three teams entered into the regional finals.
"The support of Saint-Gobain PAM and other organisations really helped our success both financially and practically. We must also give a big thanks to Solihull College, who let us use their wind tunnel to test the aerodynamics for the cars we entered, and even printed off 3D wheels for our entries."
Concludes Esling: "I’m very much hoping that these four nine year olds can now go on to taste national glory in July, but regardless of that it is fantastic to see such an interest in STEM projects. We desperately need more engineers for the future of our country and these sort of projects are a great way for businesses to get involved with schools on a practical level."
The F1 in Schools Jaguar Primary School Challenge engages with primary schools’ students and teachers. It involves designing and manufacturing the fastest car possible, by emulating the design and engineering processes employed by engineering companies.
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