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North West Regional Finals - Winners

A Report by Alyan, Year 10

We were to arrive at school for 6.45am for a 7am leave to the Halewood branch of Jaguar Land Rover. Throughout the journey we witnessed heavy traffic on the M60 through Manchester as well as roadworks on the M62 coming out of Manchester. This gave the team the opportunity to make final preparations, recap all the work we did and what we will be doing during the verbal presentation. 

Coming into the huge complex, we saw some real life test tracks for land rovers as well 100's of brand new land rovers parked outside in separate car parks. We eventually arrived at the absolutely stunning building in which the competition was to take place. The rooms in which we were working weren't too big however they had more than enough room for the 8 teams that were there. 

We'd arrived at 9am, on time and we began with setting up the pit display. Whilst 2 of our team were putting the pit display together, the other 2 were creating props for our presentations with the aid of a glue gun. We had just about an hour - up until 10am.

Next we were taken downstairs to where the tracks were located. We were welcomed then the people, who were going to judge our track performances, conducted a demo of how to play the course and notified us of all the rules and regulations. 

Following this, we went back to the pit display and added the final touches. Our first examination was the scrutineering in which they had tested the vehicle to ensure it met all the regulations in place. We breezed through this without fail apart from one little part in which it got really close. An useless velcro was attached to the underside of the chassis and it didn't quite meet the specification set however the judge was very nice and let us off. As far as I know, we should have full marks in this section. 

Next, we were to actually drive the car across the track. Before we did this, we made sure to take the velcro off to avoid any complications or difficulties. We all took a turn in driving through an obstacle however we were faced with a hill-climb which our car struggled upon. Alyan couldn't get the car onto the friction strips provided and a feature on the obstacle certainly didn't make it easy either. We correctly skipped the obstacle. After that, Zain took the vehicle for a few obstacles and he didn't fail us. We were faced with an obstacle in which we had to drive through shallow water. We then had to drive the car down a reasonably steep slope however, coming down, we had little control and on the way and we knocked over a cone. Following this, we had to drive the car up a steep slope and guide it back down. The cars front wheels had to touch a certain line and the wet tyres were incapable of completing this. Overall, we feel our performance on the track was pretty good. 

Next, we were to face the trailer tow in which we had a trailer attached to our car and we had to guide it around a course. We had nominated Zain to do this and he did a really good job. We struggled when we had to come up a ramp, turn 90 degrees, then come back down. There was very little space to turn and our car and trailer had to be repositioned midway. We only knocked over one cone but we completed the course within the time limit. 

We then had to prepare and gather material for the engineering section. We got our boards ready and went to a room. We were to talk about our car and the reasoning behind our concepts. Abdullah spoke of the colour scheme as well as why we made the car the shape it was. Zain and Arvind talked of how we manufactured certain aspects. Alyan admittedly created some confusion regarding a certain part and began talking of sponsors which they weren't interested in however he redeemed himself by confidently explaining all the costs and income. We, once again, were satisfied with our performance however we certainly had room for improvement.

Now, we had a break for 1 hour in which we had lunch and prepared for the next examination. The judges were to look at our pit display and portfolio which Alyan put together after retrieving certain research from others in the team. One judge took the portfolio away for private examination and the other judges examined and questioned us about our work. We provided full and detailed answers, mainly Arvind, and once again pleased the judges  - but this time, with chocolates! 

As soon as this ended, we moved onto our next examination - the verbal presentation. We had 5 minutes to explain the key concepts of our work. Everything went smooth but with 20 seconds to spare, Alyan noticed Zain was taking too long and cut him off. Alyan concluded just in time and overall, we could classify this as another success. This was the final examination. 

Other teams present were doing noticeably badly. The team next to us had "Thank you for listerning" on their pit display and as Alyan and Abdullah setted up the pit display, all they could hear was argument over whether or not they spelt listening correctly. There were, however, 2 other teams who we felt, were strong competition. Other fails included a teams body falling off whilst on track.

Finally, the award ceremony arrived and we were taken to a place which looked like our own lecture theatre. We were granted the first award for the best track performance. We were obviously happy to receive this award however weren't still totally satisfied as this wouldn't get us into the National Finals. We then also received the award for the best engineered car but once again, this wouldn't take us into the Nationals. Next, the award for the most innovative idea went to another school for using a raspberry pi - a concept which we were to adopt however we ran out of time and it was a little too complicated. Following this, the awards for the best rookie team, best beginner team and the judges discretion were presented to the teams Aftershock, G4S (Geared 4 Success) and Dim3nsion respectively. The first 2 awards got you a place to the nationals however we were incapable of receiving them awards as we were a professional team. The judges discretion award goes to the team who the judges feel tried hard but didn't make it through. This left 1 award left which would take you through to the nationals. We thought we'd lost it as we already had some awards and we felt we couldn't simply win everything however despite these thoughts, we got the award for the best professional team and we got the invitation to the Nationals. 

We were absolutely ecstatic about this and couldn't believe this. We were over the moon - we had just received 3 out of the 4 awards achievable by our team. A stunning day at a stunning venue.

We, as a team, would like to take the opportunity to thank Fell Promotions for discounted uniforms, which arrived promptly, and our sponsors Stafflex, who sponsored £50 as well as promotional materials. which we showed the judges, Reflex print and design who also sponsored £50 and Paradise who sponsored material to the marketing team as well as £30. We would also like to thank our wonderful assistant principal, Ms Awty for entering us into the competition and granting permission for us to market our product in school. Many thanks to the students and staff of Moor End Academy for their continued support and understanding as well. We couldn't have done it without you!