A team of aspiring engineers from King Edward’s School in Bath has won the South West Regional Final of the Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge, securing itself a place in the UK National Final in March.

The team, called ‘Fractal 4×4’ was made up of Alex Christopherson, Morgan Jones, Xavier Raynes and Finn Williams.

The Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge is one of the world’s best project-based STEM challenges, and culminates in a World Final. Students work in small teams to design and build a Land Rover of the future to specifications set by real Jaguar Land Rover engineers. Participating teams build a radio controlled 4×4 vehicle which must successfully navigate and complete obstacles on an off-road test track that is just as demanding as the real thing, emulating the capabilities of a full size 4×4 vehicle.

The winning KES Fractal 4×4 team, which won an additional prize for best engineered vehicle, was joined in the South West Regional Final by a second KES team, called ‘Modulus’ which also won recognition from the judges and gained an award for best Research and Development.

The South West Regional Final took place at the Flybe Training Academy near Exeter.

During the regional heat, the KES teams had to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of its vehicle’s suspension, chassis and wheels. The day involved a verbal presentation and engineering interview, ahead of testing the vehicle on a demanding obstacle course.

The Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge aims to raise awareness, interest and enthusiasm in engineering through the practical application of design and technology, mathematics and science. The Challenge’s organisers, Land Rover, also encouraged teams to identify sponsors and partners to support their project, with the winning KES Fractal 4×4 team being delighted that Bristol-based engineering company, Sitec, and the University of Bath were among its mentors, as well as Refil, makers of recycled 3D printed filament and cloud-based service providers, ServiceNow.

Commenting on the competition, a Land Rover spokesperson said, “The engineering industry requires creative, multi-disciplined individuals who are capable of problem solving through individual tasks and working in motivated teams. Our Challenge replicates a ‘real-life’ work situation where specialists come together to share intellectual and practical ideals to resolve a complex problem.”