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Firecrackers Qualify For Jaguar Primary School Challenge National Finals

03 May

After all the preparations, the plans, the discussions, the designs and the build it was finally time to plug in the compressed air canisters and get down to some serious racing at this year’s Jaguar Primary School Challenge.

 Team ‘Firecrackers’, comprising Junior 4’s Amelia Hunt, Jasper Nicholls, Woody Osborn, Henry Verity and Thomas Zanyi, had been fiendishly busy working hard to prepare for the big day.  The challenge requires teams to research, design, manufacture, test, promote and race the fastest car possible using standard chassis and engine housing nets with a car body made only from card. It is a technical brief but one that has proven to really engage potential future engineers.

As soon as they parked up at Princethorpe College, the team leapt into action setting up their pit display. Crackley’s team boards and table displays looked smart and professional. Bright colours and eye-catching graphics told the visual story of their journey so far.

After a welcome from Mr Scopes, Head of Design Technology at Princethorpe College, they were on to their first assessment, the Engineering judging where the team were examined on their car design and manufacturing process.  Then it was on to the all-important Verbal presentation where the judges were looking at technique, composition and knowledge of subject matter.  After break the judges examined the Portfolio and Pit Stop Display and the team took time to carefully explain their work to the judges. 

During the day, the team also had to complete an Additional Challenge, a Design Technology Challenge to manufacture a carry case for their racing car.  The focus of the exercise was once again to test the team’s ability to work together, delegate, design and manufacture. 

Then finally, it was time to get down to the serious business of racing. This was, after all, what the whole challenge has been about. Team Firecrackers carefully set up their car for a head-to-head down the racetrack and prepared themselves quietly and calmly for the competition. The cardboard Formula One cars flew down the track recording lightning-quick times. In a matter of seconds, it was all over.

Standards had been incredibly high and after a day’s worth of demonstration, presentations and racing the judges got down to their deliberations and analysing the scores. The Firecrackers waited calmly but confidently, they knew it would be a close call but when the results were announced they could hardly believe it.  Not only had they won the award for 'Best Engineered Car', they had also won 'Best Portfolio and Pit Display' but best of all the team had placed second overall and had only gone and earned themselves a place in the National Finals at the British Motor Museum in June.

Mrs Hardwick and Mrs Spillane who helped guide the Crackley Hall team were jubilant, “What an amazing day. Our Crackley Hall pupils have worked so hard. They’ve dealt with the pressure of competition brilliantly and we are so very proud of them.”

Thanks must also go to the team's sponsors Skywave Communications, Chapter Agency, Sew2It Sewing School, WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), Laser Tools, Race Rapid and Tow-Trust Towbars, and of course the children’s parents.  We are very grateful for all your support.