Unipart Engineering Challenge

In April Year 6 pupils from Eversfield Preparatory School had the opportunity to spend a day at the Unipart factory in Coventry. They enjoyed a tour of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) which houses £3m of state-of-the-art robotic automation, forming, joining, analysis and simulation, metrology and product verification technology. This was followed by two practical, but simple engineering challenges.

Having successfully built bridges out of a sheet of paper and simulated a car manufacturing belt with Lego bricks Unipart decided that the children were ready for a real challenge; design and build a battery operated car. The models had to be no longer than 30cm and able to travel a minimum of 1 metre. Any materials could be used in the construction of the carefully drawn designs, but a budgetary constraint ensured no team had an advantage resulting from the availability of materials. The children worked in teams of three and applied their knowledge of circuits to power the car, ensuring that the chassis was large enough to support the electrics. Further considerations included the weight of the design and the friction generated.  

The last week of May saw the culmination of their efforts as the children showcased their models to the Unipart engineers, presenting a commentary on their design and reflecting on the changes that they had to make to their original plans and why. Having listened to the children, Daniel Davey, Project Manager from Unipart, congratulated all the children for the mature way that they had approached the project and their effort and perseverance when things were not working to plan. Congratulations to Joshua H, Joshua M and Hannah who were presented with a trophy for their winning design. Mrs Sliney, Director of Pastoral Care and Subject Leader for Science at Eversfield said ‘The children have thrived at the opportunity to work things out for themselves. We are very grateful to Unipart who have supported the pupils during this fantastic project which has enabled them to discover the true nature of engineering.’

These budding engineers are now writing a Hints and Tips report giving next year’s Year 6 pupils a head start and an insight to avoid some of the common pitfalls; so the School are looking forward to next year’s inventive designs and who knows possibly the car of the future!