Students will take part in various educational and cultural experiences across the region this week as they prepare for the main competition.
The challenge is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers’ schools education programme, which has engaged almost three million young people across the UK to date
Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest automotive employer, yesterday welcomed students from around the world for a new global education competition. More than 100 young people will be participating in the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge World Final. The competition is judged on remote control model four wheel drive vehicles the students have designed and built, as well as pit displays and performance on a tough test track with a rope bridge, water dip, rocks and other challenging surfaces.
Young people from various countries as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, South Korea, and USA are following an intense competition schedule. The teams registered and submitted their vehicles, before touring the Ricoh Arena and meeting Wasps ambassador Paul Sackey. This afternoon, the student will visit Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull Advanced Manufacturing Plant for a behind-the-scenes tour to learn how luxury 4X4 vehicles are manufactured. The teams will enjoy a welcome BBQ this evening where they will have an opportunity to get to know their fellow international competitors.
Les Ratcliffe, Head of Community Relations at Jaguar Land Rover, commented: “We’re delighted to host the first ever Land Rover 4x4 in Schools World Final in Coventry, close to Jaguar Land Rover’s global headquarters. Before the main competition takes place, we’re offering students a wide range of experiences showcasing advanced manufacturing, sports, history and culture to give them an insight into life in the UK. It’s great to work with our brand partners Ricoh Arena and Wasps on this event and look forward to the competition day on Wednesday.”
Les added: “The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools challenge is a key part of our school education programme which encourages more young people to consider engineering careers. Expanding the programme across the globe will help us engage 2 million young people by 2020 and hopefully many of them will pursue STEM careers as a result.”
Jo Yeongbin, aged 14, from team ‘Eurus’, South Korea, commented: “We were originally feeling a bit overawed by the competition but now we’re here, we’re very excited and can’t wait to take part in the remarkable final. The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Challenge is a great opportunity for us to build our language skills and strengthen our team working and communication and we’re also looking forward to learning more about life in the UK.”
Victor Nathan, aged 16, from ‘UNITEC New Generation’ team, Brazil, added: “We’re really looking forward to the Challenge and are proud to represent Brazil. We’ve had video calls with Jaguar Land Rover’s UK engineers who have mentored us and have learnt a lot about car design and manufacturing over the last few months. This is our first time in the UK and we’ve all done an English language course to ensure we can get the most out of the experience.”
Andy Gibb, managing director of the Ricoh Arena, said: “Coventry is renowned throughout the world for its motoring and engineering expertise and we are delighted to have been chosen to host the first day of this prestigious competition. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to work together and develop their team building skills which will be important for the world of work when they have finished their education.”
The students were taken on a tour of the Ricoh Arena by Wasps ambassador Paul Sackey, who spoke about his career, and they also had the opportunity to see the Heineken Cup and the Zurich Premiership Trophy. He said: “It was a great opportunity to talk to students from different parts of the world about rugby and the importance of team work which is a key element of the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools competition. They were really interested in rugby and the Ricoh Arena and we discussed the importance of assessing the different abilities of their group to assign the right jobs to those with the right skills in the challenge.”
Today, the students will be transported back in time with a cultural trip to the historic Warwick Castle, where they will try their hand at archery. The third and final day of the event sees competition reach its peak, with a busy day of judging and track action. The World Final culminates in an awards celebration dinner, where a total of 15 awards will be presented before the crowning of the 2015 Land Rover 4x4 in Schools World Champions.