A team of young engineers are celebrating after taking home an award at a national technology competition.

Five 16-year-old students from the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester took home the 'Judges Award' at the national finals of the Land Rover 4x4 Schools Technology Challenge UK 2018.

Judges commended the team on their professionalism and determination.

The 'Panthers', Barney Lines-Hembrey, Joel Nugent, Matthew Torok, Stephen Workman and Luke Hagan were commended by judges for their professionalism and determination after two tough days of competition.

The team took on the 'Autonomous Coding Challenge' where they had to design and develop an autonomous or 'self-driving' vehicle.

The challenge aims to introduce students to the design and development of future autonomous vehicles.

The task required them to write code to enable the vehicle to complete a course in the fastest time.

Rocky roads, tight bridges, steep hills and deep tunnels were just a few of the obstacles their vehicle had to navigate on a test track that wound round, through and over a pair of Land Rover Discovery SUVs.

The pupils then gave a verbal presentation to judges, producing a well-designed graphic display of work, which showcased their engineering knowledge and innovative thinking.

Mark Wemyss-Holden, national project manager of Land Rover 4x4 in Schools said: “It has been two inspiring days in which enterprise, design and development, manufacturing, coding, research, teamwork, problem-solving and organisational skills were tested to the max. All our students have really risen to the challenge.

"Learning by practical application is one of the foundations of this programme and the results the students are achieving are very impressive. They not only learn about engineering principles and the core education subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths, but they also improve their social skills and communication techniques, which are so valuable as they move into higher education, apprenticeships and the workplace.”