Team Panthers from The Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester were crowned winners at the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools UK Finals.

The teams of 13 to 18-year-old students used software coding to design and build a remote-controlled scale model four-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicle capable of negotiating obstacles and road surfaces including water dips, a rope bridge, and rocks.

The two day competition, held at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, included a bespoke track which was designed to replicate the off-road challenges facing an all-terrain vehicle. Teams were scored on track performance and also presented their work and knowledge of vehicle design and engineering to a panel of judges.

Joel Nugent, Team Panthers' mechanical engineer, said: “Winning means the world to us as we’ve put in countless hours over the past few months. To see our project come together and our vehicle win is just unbelievable. Our car is has an active suspension system which took lots of CAD design and it helped us secure victory. The engineering experience, teamwork and communication skills that we’ve gained are so valuable.”

Students from the winning teams will be invited to a bespoke careers immersion day at Jaguar Land Rover and can apply for a £1,500 Harper Adams University engineering scholarship.

All finalists were presented with an Industrial Cadets Silver Award for spending over 30 hours working on their project and have been invited to apply to the Jaguar Land Rover Apprenticeship programme in September 2020.

During the event, graduates and engineers ran a career networking workshop for students and delivered a Coding and Technology Masterclass to help teachers deliver the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools programme coding module in the classroom and explain how these skills relate to digital engineering roles.

Chris Thorp, Responsible Business Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are passionate about inspiring the next generation of engineering talent and the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge is a vital part of our education programme. Digital skills are critical to our business and we need more talented software engineers to help us develop innovative technologies for our vehicles. I’m hugely impressed by the students and their vehicles and would like to congratulate both Team Fractal 4x4 and Team Panthers on their well-deserved shared victory.”