The challenge involves between three and six team members working together to design and build a radio controlled four-wheel drive (4x4) vehicle, to set specifications. The vehicle must be able to successfully negotiate a specially designed test track emulating real life and it must perform as a full scale 4x4 vehicle would do in an off-road situation.
The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools World Finals 2017 was held from 10th to 11th December at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit and brought together talented young engineers from around the world. There were 25 teams of students from 17 countries aged from 13 to 19 years competing for the title of World Champions. The competition is bringing classroom learning to life through practical application that captures the imagination of students. It develops their skills in numerous areas, not only the STEM learning but also confidence, teamwork and social interaction, the foundations needed for any successful career.
The Epsilon Engineers are passionate about engineering and through their experience of this unique hands-on learning challenge are keen to pursue careers in engineering.
The Epsilon Engineers who represented England said:
"As the only all-girls team we want to prove that young women have the creativity and motivation to design the future and we are excited to be competing at the World Finals. We want to prove that we are just as capable as the boys in a male dominated environment."
They have been committed to this challenge for almost 3 years and have been persevering to perfect their car, although their biggest challenge has been getting everything done within the time frame, raise enough money to cover cost and also keeping on top of their school work.
They travelled to Abu Dhabi for an event that was a unique educational experience, combining a competitive environment with cultural activities.
Two intense days of competition was keeping the team on their toes when their work was judged by an experienced panel of judges as well as their vehicles having to complete a tough all-terrain track with rocks, water dips and rope bridges among the many obstacles on the course. Demi was outstanding in her confident trailer performance driving a fault free course with 1.3 minutes to spare. After day two the Epsilon Engineers had shown their team work and excellence by coming 2nd on the leader board in the track drive. The teams are judged on many areas aspects including verbal presentation of their car to a panel of judges, scrutineering, portfolio and pit display and engineering which includes component sourcing, manufacturing, design methods and understanding.
Two new challenges had been added to the competition which was not revealed until the day of the competition. The first was a coding challenge where the teams were given a coding of a car and had to remove the faults so the car would drive without interruptions. The Epsilon Engineers did very well and were nominated for this award.
The second challenge was a pull test where the car had to pull 2.2kg. The Epsilon Engineer's car passed this and pulled a mighty 2.59 Kg resulting in a well-deserved 3rd place for this challenge.
The final of the competition was celebrated at an Awards Gala Dinner at the Yas Marina Circuit with the presentation of 18 trophies and the crowning of the World Champions. The Epsilon Engineers were awarded the Best Trailer Performance and came 5th in the overall competition out of 24 teams from all over the world. Comradeship was felt throughout the competition and many new friends were found from all over the world.
Niftylift and their employees have played an important role in supporting the team financially but also in expert guidance by Raluca Babi and Jane Harbige since September 2016, who were delighted to see the success of many hours support. Niftylift congratulate The Epsilon Engineers for an amazing and well deserved result. We have been impressed by their commitment, hard work and determination throughout the competition stages and are very proud to have helped in their success.