The program aims to encourage young people to pursue careers in the automotive industry, with students tasked with the design, building and testing miniature remote-controlled 4X4 vehicles and complete off-road challenges. Land Rover’s event has helped the company reach more than three million youngsters since 1999.
Students from countries all over the world - including the USA, South Africa, Brazil and of course, Australia - travelled to the event held in Coventry, UK. The teams spent three-to-six months creating their vehicles, and were judged on all aspects of their projects from engineering and marketing to design.
The winning team from Australia was a group of 16-year-old students from Pine Rivers State School in Queensland, while second place went to another team of Aussie students from Dubbo College in New South Wales.
Named the ‘Wombat Warriors’, the young Aussies impressed judges with the best overall performance on the tough test track - which included a wire bridge and rock crawl - travelling through and around two Range Rover Evoque convertibles.
Australia’s winning team received an Arkwright scholarship from Land Rover, a scholarship at Harper Adams University and a spot in Land Rover Academy’s e-mentoring program, which will team them up with the company’s engineering graduates.
Above: 3rd place went to students from Escola Secundaria de Ponte de Lima, Portugal
Team leader of the Wombat Warriors, Lily Eiseman, said: “This project was a great way for us to learn more about engineering careers and develop our skills”.
“Teamwork played a huge part in our achievement and we’ve spent around 600 hours working on this project over the past six months. We’d all thoroughly recommend the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Challenge to others - just go for it!”
New to this year’s event was the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) towing task, where students used their miniature 4x4s to tow a scale version of the Land Rover BAR training boat around the challenging course.
Land Rover hopes to engage with five million young people through its education program by 2020, particularly in Brazil and Slovakia where new manufacturing plants will be based.