Following a successful project facilitation and software training for teachers for the Jaguar Primary Schools Challenge (JPSC) during the month of October, two official races have taken place at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg. This programme, facilitated by Sangari Education (a member of ADESSA), saw 14 teams from various primary schools across Gauteng partake in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) challenge.
The challenge is open to students aged 5-11 years and involves designing and manufacturing the fastest car possible, emulating the design and engineering processes employed by real engineering companies such as Jaguar Cars. Each team designs an F1 racing car using 160gm/s cardboard paper created on 2D drawing software. After manufacturing teams race their cars on a 20 metre race track powered by gas chargers.
Pieter du Plessis, F1 in Schools programme manager at Sangari Education, said:
At first it was a challenge getting both learner’s and teachers to buy into the concept of designing and racing a miniature F1 car. But the concept has now caught on and interest is growing rapidly. The JPSC-F1 is literally STEM education in action. Teacher involvement is critical for learners, who need both emotional and physical support. The JPSC offers primary school pupils the opportunity to take part in a fun hands-on STEM activity, tackling real-life problem solving, design, manufacturing, team work, communication and business skills.
Involvement of teachers and parents is an integral part of the programme as it motivates children to maintain their focus and determination in the challenge.
Christo Jones, deputy chief education specialist for Technology, Gauteng Department of Education said:
Partnering with Sangari Education to bring active STEM education to primary schools is a good starting point towards improving the education system in the country. Seeing young people design F1 model cars on computers, manufacture and then race them is really inspiring.
The competition is open to all primary school children from grade 5 to grade 7. Teams wishing to be part of this competition can register on the website at: www.sangari.co.za or contact Pieter du Plessis on +27 11 466-1440.