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School Students gear up for Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge Final

School students from across the country are gearing up to participate in the Grand Final of the Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge, which will be held on Friday 16 May at Silverstone Circuit.

The Design Challenge is open to school students who work in teams to design new products for the motorsport industry. This second year of the competition has proved more popular than ever, attracting a higher number of entries from schools on a national basis.

Over the past seven months, 13 teams of school students have been diligently working towards one of five challenges that form part of the curriculum for key stages 3, 4 and post 16.

On 16 May, the students will gather in the Brooklands Suite at Silverstone Circuit to display their designs and will then be summoned into the ‘Dragons Den’ to make pitches to two expert panels of five judges. One Judging Panel will be headed up by Nicky Grist (World Rally Champion and co-driver to Colin McCrae) with the other Panel led by Pat Symonds (Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering).

Pat Symonds said: “It’s brilliant to see such an exciting scheme that promotes Design Technology and gives students an opportunity to learn more about it, while placing it in a broader business context. I am delighted to be supporting the Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge and I’m looking forward to judging the presentations on a range of interesting and innovative ideas.”

The Design Challenge is the brainchild of teacher, Darren Giles, of The National School, Nottingham, and Dianne Wilson, Manager of Silverstone Innovation Centre.

Darren Giles said: “The students have really risen to the Challenge and it has brought the whole curriculum to life for many of them. Working as part of a team to tight deadlines also seems to have brought out the best in them and I can’t wait to see all of the final presentations! It has also been a great collaboration with Silverstone Innovation Centre, whose support has made the Design Challenge possible.”

Dianne Wilson added: “Silverstone Innovation Centre provides premises and access to funding for entrepreneurs and start-up companies associated with the motorsport and engineering industry. We are delighted to support the Design Challenge, which encourages entrepreneurship skills relevant to the motorsport industry at an early age, and we would particularly like to thank the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) who have provided vital financial support for this second year of the competition.”

Having participated in workshops at Silverstone Innovation Centre, hosted by industry experts, where they learnt how to put together a business plan, market their products and create that knockout presentation, the students are fully prepared to wow the Judges with their ideas.

After the Judges have heard all the pitches, they will deliberate over the winner of each Challenge. The winners will be announced at the end of the day and with fantastic prizes on offer, the competition promises to be intense.

Prizes include: a tour of the Prodrive Subaru World Rally premises at Banbury for the Overall Winner; a day with Porsche at their new track at Silverstone; Digital Scalextric worth £200 each, Design and Production of F1 in Schools uniform; £100 of HMV vouchers each, courtesy of Northamptonshire Enterprise, and a trip to Bletchley Park.

In addition, prizes will be donated by: Nicky Grist (a number of Colin McRae memorabilia, for the fastest lap time on the new Colin McRae PS3 game), BR Racing (a day at BR Racing, for the best Team Presentation) and Sarah Franklin Racing (a day at a race event to help prep her car, for the Best Visual Presentation) for separate challenges during the day.

To attend the Grand Final of the Design Challenge on Friday 16 May at Silverstone Circuit, please contact Simon Moss on 01235 838555 or email

- ENDS -
Editors Notes
Press enquiries to: Simon Moss, Marketing Manager.

Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 811199

Company profile of Oxford Innovation
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