Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge

Rising Stars Prize 2015On Wednesday 24th June the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon housed the Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge. The competition has been going for 15 years, but the 2015 event was the first ever World Final, open to primary and secondary schools from around the globe. Organiser Brian Richardson was thrilled to see so many schools from around the UK attending, and expressed surprise and delight that teams had come from as far as China and Australia to participate, with Harrow International School in Beijing and Kingston Primary School from Perth Australia flying in to take part (the latter accompanied by a kangaroo mascot).

The competition aims to encourage the practical use of mathematics, applying basic maths, science and engineering skills (including measuring angles and using multiplication, percentages and decimals) to an exciting virtual motor racing experience. Brian stressed that being able to solve problems and analyse data was vital for all of the pupils, whatever their future careers may be. He also noted that with an annual shortfall of around 60,000 engineering graduates each year, it is increasingly important to encourage children to engage with maths and engineering to ensure the survival of Britain’s automotive industry.

Encouraging teamwork and fair play was another priority for the day and each team certainly worked hard together to beat their competition. The hall erupted with cheers and boos as the race took place, with Brian broadcasting his commentary of proceedings on the radio. A surprise teacher’s race was also met with excitement, with notably more crashes than the pupil competition.

With over 90,000 pupils from both primary and secondary schools across the globe signing up to take part, the 90 finalists had all done extremely well to get so far. However, special congratulations should be given to the overall World Champions, Butlers Court Primary School, one of only two primary schools to have ever won the competition throughout its 15 year history. They were thrilled to win an impressive Jaguar Leaper trophy, in addition to all of the other Jaguar goodies that every competitor took away.

Particular note should also be given to the pupils from Tunfurlong Junior School, second place in the primary category, who were very happy to receive a £500 Rising Stars voucher amongst their prize winnings. Harrow International School made their long trip worth it by achieving the fastest lap time of the day.

Brian admitted feeling emotional at the response this year’s competition has received and hopes that it will continue to grow. The software in the competition is currently being used in 11 countries, with analysis showing that the programme is active somewhere in the world almost 24/7! The creators hope that the current figure of 1.5 million pupils having used the software will rise to 2 million by 2020.

You can watch this year’s final here or find more information on the Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge website. Jaguar is also linked with 33 maths hub across England and regularly run interactive teacher training days.



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