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Year 9 pupils from both Division were joined by students from Turton High School and St James’ High School in the Arts Centre for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Challenge Day themed around motorsport.

Pupils were split into teams of four and given the task of building a miniature racing car. Within their teams, each pupil had a role to play: graphic designer, mechanical engineer, electronic engineer, and aerodynamic engineer. They were given instructions on how to assemble the intricate electronic components of the car, and also asked to come up with a team name and design merchandise to promote their team and brand identity.

At lunchtime, pupils had the opportunity to explore the University of Bolton’s full-size and fully functional race car and also a 4x4 built by the university, which were brought into the Riley Quad for the occasion.

Although sitting in a genuine race car was a definite highlight, the most exciting part of the day was yet to come: racing the miniature cars in head-to-head heats on a track, with electronic timers to determine which was the fastest.

The Boys’ Division Department of Design, Technology and Engineering was very impressed with the speed of all of the teams’ cars. Most of the races took under five seconds to complete, and they were also very close: one race ended with times of 2.69 seconds for the victor and 2.71 seconds for the loser! This made the racing super-fast and highly dramatic for all of the pupils.

Prizes were awarded for first, second and third place in the races, and also for the best and most cohesive branding, which was judged by Mrs Ryder from the Boys’ Division Art Department.

Boys’ Division Electronics students in the Sixth Form assisted throughout the day and also helped with setting up and maintaining the track.

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