Jaguar Primary Schools Challenge

On Thursday 13 October 2016, a group of Grade 5 Cordwalles Preparatory School boys went to participate in the second KZN Regional Event of the Jaguar Primary Schools Challenge (JPSC). The event was being held at the Jaguar/Land Rover Hillcrest branch and the boys had been frantically preparing for it since the start of term only 8 days prior.

Their task was to design a race car using 2D CAD software, manufacture the car out of 160g/m cardboard and then finally race their car at the Regional Event. The JPSC is in its first year of existence here in South Africa, but has been running in the United Kingdom for the last 5 years or so. The JPSC is modelled on both the ‘F1 in Schools’ and the ‘Land Rover 4×4 in Schools’ Challenges, which are both run in various high schools throughout South Africa. The organisers invited Cordwalles Preparatory School to participate and it was decided that we would run this as a Grade 5 initiative.

Being the Design and Technology teacher, Rory Bremner was thrilled to take this on board and get involved as this was certainly something that would add an extra dimension to what the boys do at school. The Grade 5 group that was chosen were selected not only on the basis of their individual projects that they had completed during the year, but mainly because of the teamwork that they had shown during that time too. The boys selected were Jason Dix, Mark Brombacher, Luke Hubble and Olivier Gaboreau. Each boy would assume a specific role and contribute towards the completion of the project and so I knew a tremendous amount of teamwork would be needed to get it done.

Jason was the Team Manager and was in charge of coordinating the group as well as organising team sponsors. Mark was the Design Engineer. It was his job to engage with the software and create their race car, all the while ensuring it remained within the challenge specifications given to them. Luke was the Manufacturing Engineer. His role involved using a specialised 2D cutter plotter to cut the design out and build the car. Finally, Olivier was the Graphic Designer. His job was to create the graphics on the car as well as the colour schemes. As well as building the car, the group had to create a Pit Display, a 10 page Portfolio and prepare for a Verbal Presentation.

On Race Day, the boys were very excited to get going and through their sponsors the boys had organised kit so they really looked like a team. The name they had chosen for their team was the Hybrid Hurricanes. Upon arrival (after the awe of seeing a Jaguar F Type had abated), the boys went about setting up their Pit Display. At 9am judging began and there was a different judge for each of the criteria, which were as follows: Portfolio and Pit Display; Specifications; Engineering; Verbal Presentation; Additional Challenge; and Racing. The boys did themselves proud and went about the entire day with much energy and enthusiasm, all while being the youngest participants of the 6 teams competing.

When the judging had been completed, the teams got to have some fun races against each other while the Additional Challenge was being deliberated on. This challenge had seen the team work together to use the software and create a pair of cardboard sunglasses. At the end of the day it was time to announce the winners. The boys had already been told that they had received 100% for their Specifications Test so there was high hopes of making the top 3 overall. The boys certainly were not expecting what was to follow though. The Hybrid Hurricanes went on to win Best Portfolio and Pit Display; Best Engineered Car and Best Verbal Presentation on their way to claiming First Place on the overall podium. This was a massive achievement and all the judges were extremely complimentary of how good the boys had been in terms of how they interacted, as well as what they had produced.

Moving forward, this group of boys will be competing in next years Regional Qualifications on the 27th February 2017 with a view of making it to Nationals in March that year. Then if all goes well there, they are hoping to qualify for the World Championships. At Cordwalles Preparatory School, the Jaguar Primary Schools Challenge will now be held as an internal Grade 5 project from next year with the winners moving on to Regionals in 2018.

RJ Bremner
Head of Design and Technology

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