Jun 2010 - Sweets and soda drive winning car design

Diet Coke and a packet of Mentos were the key elements of a winning design by pupils or the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in The Surrey Satro Festival of Science and Engineering on 24th June 2010.

The seven pupils aged 12-14 attended the Festival with a project they have been working on after school for over a month. They designed and built a car which was powered by Diet Coke and Mentos. This required the group to use extremely difficult Design Technology (DT) skills and equipment, and spend long hours in DT Club after school.

Teachers, Christiaan Jones and Chris Baker worked all hours helping them with this project and stayed on in the workshop with them long after evening activities had finished. The standard of the design was GCSE standard and stood out beside the other entries. About 10 industry experts visited their exhibition and asked them challenging questions about the design and testing. The pupils presented in a mature and confident manner and the numerous experts commented on how confident the group were.

Mid way through the day they were asked to display the car working outside and invited about 100 guests and representatives to watch. They talked through the design with the crowd before setting it off.

The team were awarded The Team Achievement prize and given a cheque for £250 pounds from Jon Tickle (Brainiac)- They have now won all 3 competitions that Surrey SATRO have held!

Headmaster, Paul D Spencer Ellis comments “As the Lead School for Gifted and Talented in the area, we are keen to offer our pupils every opportunity to stretch themselves and, at this Science Festival, they have proved they can rise to the challenge. This is a tremendous achievement for the team and it demonstrates the quality of science ability amongst youngsters at this school. The input from the teachers should also be recognised as they provided a great deal of support to the team when they were working on the project. Well done to everyone involved.”

The festival also included a tour around Brooklands museum, sitting in a Mercedes SLR worth £300,000 and an exhibition from local STEM businesses showcasing their companies and what they do.

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