Yesterday saw the final of the Scalextric 4 Schools challenge, a PTC initiative that challenges middle and high school children to design, make and race their own Scalextric cars.
Scalextric 4 Schools consists of six challenges that focus on different aspects of design and engineering.
Nottingham’s Westbury School’s students chose to enter into the F3 circuit race, where cars are raced around a twisting circuit and the Bloodhound SSC land speed record, where cars have to travel as fast as possible in a straight line.
It designed its cars in SolidWorks and then printed the models using an UP! 3D printer from Denford, a specialist manufacturer of CAD/CAM and CNC manufacturing solutions for Design & Technology in Schools. They even built their own wind tunnel to test the aerodynamics of their cars.
Westbury have documented their progress on a blog, which even caught the eye of Jon Tomlinson, the principal aerodynamicist for the Lotus F1 Team, who had some encouraging words and advice for the boys particularly in relation to minimising the drag of the cars.
The students even designed their own wind tunnel
The Scalextric 4 Schools final took place yesterday at the RAF Museum, Cosford in Shropshire. There were teams from 14 schools, including a school from Russia who brought their Minister for Education with them.
Westbury’s teams – ‘Westbury Pitstop’ and ‘Wacky Racers’ in the F3 circuit race and ‘Too Fast Too Furious’ in the Bloodhound SSC race – had to not only race their cars but also present to the judges showing the process involved in creating their designs.
‘Westbury Pit Stop’ (top of post) won the best presentation prize however, the judges were so impressed by ‘Wacky Racers’ (above) that they awarded them a special one-off prize too.
Westbury School teaching assistant Rebecca Ramage, who works in the design technology, construction and motor engineering department and is very passionate about getting CAD into the school, is extremely proud of her students especially considering how quickly they learnt how to use the design tools.
“Our students have only been using SolidWorks for only eight weeks and have managed to create these cars and chassis. We have done projects on our plastic cutter and CNC machine but the students are blown away by the use of the 3D printer. With Sunday over I shall now be looking for new challenges using CAD in the classroom.”