Tasked with building a remote-controlled four-wheel-drive to set specifications, the 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge gets students to design a vehicle that can emulate the capabilities of a full-size 4x4 to successfully traverse a set of obstacles in an off-road test that accurately replicates the real thing. The project’s aim is raise awareness, interest and enthusiasm in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, and the practical application of engineering principles.
The winning team – dubbed the ‘Wombat Warriors’ – from Pine Rivers State High School in Strathpine, Queensland picked up an Arkwright scholarship from Land Rover, a scholarship at Harper Adams University and a Jaguar Land Rover Academy e-mentoring program, which will see the talented three-boy, three-girl team mentored by Land Rover’s engineering graduates.
The runners-up hail from Dubbo College’s Senior Campus. As well as occupying the second step of the podium, the five-member team picked up the award for the Best Engineered Vehicle while their event-winning compatriots claimed honours in the Verbal Presentation Award.
Lily Eiseman, Pine Rivers’ team manager, and winner of last year’s Women in Engineering Award said: “This project was a great way for us to learn more about engineering careers and develop our skills. Teamwork played a huge part in our achievement and we’ve spent around 600 hours working on the project over the past six months. We’d all thoroughly recommend the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Challenge to others – just go for it!”
At the national level, the Challenge is run by Reengineering Australia but both financial and logistical support was provided by Land Rover Australia to assist in the teams’ individual projects and outcomes, as well as to reach the world finals.
“We are absolutely delighted with the results from the teams,” Land Rover Australia’s Tim Krieger said.
This year marked the 18th running of the firm’s international education initiative which aims to encourage students to pursue careers in the automotive industry and is expected to engage with up to five million young people from around the world by 2020.