A few weeks ago we wrapped up a project with Motorsport UK and Mission 44 as part of some research projects associated with the Ignite program. The objective was to undertake research to identify the most effective ways of creating equality of opportunity for racially under represented groups in motorsport.
We were asked to deliver an activation to groups of children at year 7 (ages 11-12) and year 9 (ages 13-14) to understand the kids of activities which are most effective in generating inspiration and engagement with STEM through the platform of motorsport.
Pulling a team of industry experts together, we formed a group of engineers, teachers and D&I specialists to design the concept, which was a simulated race weekend in which engineers and technicians work together to configure the car to the best setup for performance and drivability.
Remote Control (RC) cars at a certain level are essentially just miniature cars, with the same oil filled dampers, double wishbone suspension, tyres and steering systems that we see on the race cars we work with.
This makes them the perfect platform to demonstrate, at a scaled down level, all of the engineering concepts we have to understand when working trackside to develop race winning cars.
The Fun Part..
Following a dynamic driving demonstration, the children worked with the 'driver' to play the role of engineer & technician to understand the behaviour of the car and follow a process to identify areas of improvement,
They were then instructed to pick up tools, make setup changes with their own hands and observe the changes in the handling of the car through subsequent dynamic demonstrations.
Being able to observe tangible changes in the dynamics and relate them back to the same scientific concepts they learn in their physics and chemistry classes was a great activity - one which we saw produce quite a few lightbulb moments!
Here's a statement from our Director, Jahee:
"Working with the younger generation of future engineers has always been important to me and is something I want to remain an active thread of Wavey Dynamics as we grow our consulting activities, so we were really happy to be involved in this project in collaboration with Motorsport and Mission 44.
Often, the missing ingredient in school classes to drive class material home and help students retain knowledge is the connection of concepts to the world around us, so our aim was to reinforce that with what we delivered. When it's something as exciting as a race car, that can leave a long lasting impact!
Forces and moments, viscoelasticity, hydraulics, it was all there in the activation we designed and i hear the children enjoyed it almost as much as us :-)."
Here's a video on the project!
If just one of the children came away from our activation with a new understanding, enthusiasm and inspiration to explore the opportunities available to them in STEM career's it's mission accomplished.
The start of much more to come.
To learn more about this, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org