Barnet pupils race to the lead

By Clare Casey in Local People

TWO Barnet pupils have gone full throttle to become world champions in a virtual racing challenge that combined maths and team work.

More than 102,000 students, from 13 countries took part in the 2017 Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge world final. But it was two boys from the Compton School in Summers lane, that beat them all by achieving the fastest time with a virtual racing car.

To reach the face-to-face final, the students won a series of online races in their school, a preliminary knockout round and a semi-final.

The final was held at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, where 30 teams competed in two age group ranges for the world championship.

Teams had just 90 minutes ahead of the race to make calculations and racing decisions, including the amount of fuel required and the angles of the track bends.

In the final, Compton students Tom Vettiankal aged 11 and Harvey Stone, 12, finished the race 62 seconds ahead after a 59-lap race around a Durban street circuit.

Tom, of Friern Barnet, said:

“It feels amazing that we’ve won the challenge and beaten 102,000 other students. The competition combines our favourite things, maths and cars, and we’ve had a great time learning about how cars work and finding out how maths is important in engineering careers.”

The Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge was established in 2000, since when more than 2 million pupils have taken part. Youngsters aged eight to 16 set up a virtual racing car to compete against other schools on some of the world’s most famous circuits.

Teams must use all their mathematical expertise to accurately measure the length of the track, the angles of the bends and consider other factors such as fuel load, tyres and speeds, the car’s technical set-up and the weather forecast.

This information was entered into a cloud-based computer simulation and tested in a series of practice laps.

Brian Richardson, challenge organiser, said: “The Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge shows students there are good reasons to study maths at school and that you can have fun doing it.

“It also shows that teamwork is an essential skill in the workplace – wherever you live in the world.”

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