Porthcawl’s race aces top the UK podium
22 July 2016
A model car that reaches a top of speed of 85mph in less than one second has helped a team of pupils from Porthcawl Primary School top the podium in a national Formula 1 based challenge.
After designing their own car, the young engineers raced their way to win the UK final of the ‘Formula 1 in Schools – Jaguar Primary School Challenge’, held at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
The school’s Porthcawl Power team – made up of six students aged 10 and 11 – beat off competition from 24 other schools to take the UK title after successfully completing five stages of judging which were overseen by experts from the automotive industry.
They had originally earned their place in the final after their balsa wood model car was the fastest at the regional South Wales heat when propelled using an air canister.
Deputy Head, Evan Richards said: “Our school very much enjoys taking part in this annual competition and we’re extremely proud of the pupils’ outstanding achievement. The help we received from EESW which promotes engineering studies in schools was invaluable. We are also very grateful for the support that we have received from parents, and our sponsors. Work is already well underway on our 2017 car!”
Since winning, the team has even been mentioned in the House of Commons, with Madeleine Moon MP congratulating her young constituents, while one of the pupils spoke to DJ Chris Evans live on his Radio Two breakfast show.
Councillor Huw David, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “It is an exceptional achievement to win a UK-wide competition, so huge congratulations are extended to everyone involved at Porthcawl Primary School.
“With the Ford Engine Plant playing such a key role in the local economy, and Aston Martin’s investment in a new super-car plant just up the road in St Athan, there has never been a better time for local children to take an interest in the science, technology, engineering and maths skills that are so critical in the automotive industry.
“It is also pleasing to see so many girls on the Porthcawl Power team, as these subjects aren’t always traditionally the ones that girls enjoy as much as boys.
“This competition has required the pupils to demonstrate a broad range of skills, from using computer aided design software to create their model car, to presenting their ideas clearly and concisely to the competition’s judges. They have shown a real aptitude for engineering and I wish them well for the future.”
The Jaguar Primary School Challenge is sponsored and supported by Jaguar Cars who have been a supporter of F1 in Schools since its launch in 2000.
Les Ratcliffe, Jaguar Land Rover Head of Community Relations, said: “This competition engages with primary school students and teachers across the UK. Encouraging the next generation of engineers is something that jaguar is extremely dedicated to as it helps to nurture the development of key skills and engineering processes, meaning that the future of engineering is bright.”
Among the local companies that have supported Porthcawl Primary School in this year’s Formula 1 in Schools – Jaguar Primary School Challenge’ are Wulf Race Clothing, Auto Barnes Wales, Willmott Dixon, BMW Sytner and the Sony Technology Centre.