May - DT meets Grand Prix

Pupils were presented with some mind boggling motor sports facts at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School on Tuesday 3rd May. Racing driver, Tom Gaymor, from Go Motorsport came to the school to talk to pupils about the various ways they can become involved with motor sport, either as a career, a participant or spectator. Pupils were enthralled as he explained how every aspect of a motor racing is measured and managed in great detail including the various sensors placed on every piece of the car and the way the driver’s diet is managed.

The visit was arranged by Head of Design Technology, Chris Baker. He said “Design Technology (DT) can include many disciplines from computer aided design to food technology and these can be applied to many different careers. We wanted to show pupils how DT can lead to various careers including those in motor sport. The presentation from Tom brought these careers to life by giving real examples of how the skills they are learning at school can be applied to exciting careers in motor sport like engineering, IT, sales, marketing, PR, fitness and nutrition.”

He adds “As a department we are trying to dispel the theory amongst pupils and parents alike that design and technology is simply about good old fashioned wood-work and that actually it is a subject that requires academic involvement, innovation and a profound understanding and appreciation that technologies essentially shape our everyday environment. Motor sport is a good arena for demonstrating some of these technologies.”

During the talk, pupils saw pieces from a racing car and learned how technology played a part in the development of specialist light-weight materials that can stand the stresses and strains of motor racing. Tom also brought along a seat used by Formula One driver, Mark Webber. Pupils were astounded to learn about the extreme conditions that racing drivers experience, from the 50 degree heat in the cockpit, to the effect of the ‘g-force’ which makes every movement in the car require top physical fitness.

Pupils are already getting experience of motor sport on a smaller scale as the school is building a kit car to compete in the Formula 24 championship organised by Greenpower. Greenpower is an organisation that promotes engineering as a rewarding career to anyone aged 9-25, while also focusing on sustainability, teamwork and the community. Chris Baker comments, “It would be great if local businesses could become involved as we are looking for sponsors for our racing car.” 14 year old Kayan Patel, who attended the motor sport talk and is also helping to build the kit car said, “The talk was very informative and gave a new perspective on motor sport.”

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