Fantastic Evaluative Skills on show in the McLaren Challenge Posted - 31/05/2018

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Fourth Form Design & Technology pupils have spent much of this term working in teams to design and develop their entries for the prestigious McLaren Challenge. The brief for the project was set as a competition at the start of the Summer Term, with the winning team going forward to the final at the McLaren technology Centre, Woking. 

Our winning team: Bradley Carty, Rory Lee, Kit Randall, Max Spooner, along with captain Louis Viner, were given a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre, including a look at their new four-million pound simulator, a pit-stop practice bay, and the wind tunnel where aerodynamics are developed. The boys were also given the opportunity to speak to several of the McLaren engineers who talked about their jobs and explained how various components are designed and manufactured in such a high-tech environment. 

Most of the team was at Monaco so no F1 cars were on display, but it was fascinating to see race control in full swing and live footage on the screens all around the building. The McLaren Challenge is no longer a simple drag race. Based on the business model of F1, where “the pitch” and PR is also important, the team had to present their ideas in a professional manner and try to sell their design to a panel of judges. 

The boys did a great job, especially when questioned about their decision-making processes. The judging panel was particularly impressed with their evaluative skills and the fact that as soon as they ran the car for the first time, they were discussing improvements that could be made. A very good presentation and a second fastest time on the track was not enough on this occasion to take home the elusive trophy. However, with a little development we have got the basis of a winning car for next year’s competition. 

Keith Ditchburn, Design & Technology Department

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