Design & Technology pupils reach National Finals in Jaguar Land Rover 4x4 competition

Team A.T.L.A.S. triumphed in the regional final

Team A.T.L.A.S. triumphed in the regional final, securing 2nd place and an invite to the national finals of the Jaguar Land Rover 4x4 in schools Competition.
This year on Tuesday 29th of January the South East Regional Final for the ‘Jaguar Land Rover 4x4 in schools competition’ took place and was held in the newly opened engineering building at Harlow College, Essex. We spent the majority of the journey learning to tie our yellow polka dot bow ties with only the faint glow of daybreak and a photo from Google to guide us in our endeavours.
Upon arrival, a clear buzz of anticipation had built up and was evident throughout the team - this was a product of our eagerness to get out on to the competition floor in order to put both ourselves and the car to the test. The real reason, however, for the added levels of anticipation is that we could not wait to peacock our new sponsor – Robsons Estate Agents, whose generosity enabled us to create such an intricate vehicle (a remote controlled 4x4), that we constructed from the ground up and was a labour of love, ambition and an absolute refusal to take no for an answer.
With the pit display set in all its glory and the team briefed, it was time to face what we though would be the first major battle of the day, expecting an unrelenting torrent of questioning that would make us look like the feeble adolescents that we try so hard not to be. However our pit inspection was not quite as we had envisioned, as it was in fact conducted in a particularly conversational manor, not dissimilar to the tone of a conversation one expect to overhear or indeed participate in whilst enjoying afternoon tea at the Ritz. One particular line of conversation that stood out for us was with a judge who was particularly enthused by the team’s approach to securing sponsorship and our relationship with Robsons (once again, a massive thank you to them for their support).
Our earlier predictions of judging style were realised as we tackled the judging sessions that followed. We experienced some particularly probing questions at the end of our verbal presentation, one of which required the team to breakdown our electronic systems into their fundamental parts and justify the existence of each and every one.
The team’s final opportunity to score points from the judges was during the track assessment, involving steep ascents, deep ravines, boulders and a water obstacle; along with a trailer tow at the end which proved to be all too much for our car.
At the end of the day, the team finished 2nd in the professional class, which means we have been invited to compete at the National Finals, a two day event for which we have already begun preparation. A final thanks goes out to all of the D&T staff, Mr Wilson in particular, as well as those working in the print room, all of who have been so helpful and without them none of this would have been possible.
Team: James Tillotson, Zak Torns, Pandias Margaronis, Felix Chen and Bert Edwards

By:Bert Edwards (L6th)