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ACG Racers Challenge has electrified young designers

Young design technology students have been presented with a thrilling opportunity during Semester 2 as they compete in the ACG Racers Challenge. This integrated project combines their learning from many subjects to produce high-end luxury car models that celebrate both form and function.

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Imagine you’re sitting in a design technology lesson, and your teacher asks you to build a virtual car to race against your classmates in a ‘form vs function’ contest. Of course, this competition will not only draw on all your design skills but also include the knowledge you’ve gained in science, art and music classes. Well, that’s precisely the challenge that the design technology team has set for Year 7, 8 and 9 cohorts this semester, and they couldn’t be more excited.

Years 7 to 9 design students have been tasked with creating a car that is both beautiful and functional. While students are encouraged to show flair and creativity, the foundation of this fully integrated project centres around ACG’s vision of helping young people become innovative and creative critical thinkers with exceptional problem-solving abilities and entrepreneurial skills.

At the beginning of Term 2, students were given a design brief advising “their client – a well-known auto-car company – requires them to create their next flagship sports vehicle. A car that is built for speed, but its appeal in design will need to match the growing demand for high-end cars.”

The project culminates with each design team presenting and pitching their final concept to ‘industry experts’ as they race their cars in a bid to win fictional financing so they can bring their model to the commercial market. To be victorious, they must combine both the aesthetic (form) and the speed (function).

Additionally, the young designers are required to create personalised decals and merchandise to support their vision while also curating a soundtrack for their pitch. While the challenge begins as an individual task, students will share their work and have the opportunity to learn and receive feedback from their peers. After this initial phase, they will be allocated into teams in Term 3. Given the size of the project and the content covered from the design cycle to industrial practises, the unit will run throughout the whole of Semester 2.

“The lessons allow students to create from scratch, computer-generated models based on the information they research in Term 2,” says Arts Team Leader and Design Technology Teacher Mark Ellison. “Plus, they will apply skills from Term 1 (branding exercises) to create decals and merchandise to support their designs.

“Their investigations into the concept of ‘form’ will help them to create the best aerodynamic systems to increase speed. These inquiries and answers to guiding questions will come from both design technology and science classes where students investigate laws of physics and how they can be applied within their work.”

Digital prototypes of the cars will be created on a 3D printer, and the students will race their models in real-time on a pre-constructed track, where and when possible, to determine and assess actual speeds.

“While testing, students will have opportunities to tweak, tune and make revisions to their products and share with group members,” confirms Mr Ellison.
Plans are in place to set up an event to share this amazing project with the wider ACG community as well.

"Ideally, teams will each have a station (a pit-stop if you like) on campus where they exhibit their ideas, designs and pitches before the race event,” explains Mr Ellison. “And we are currently looking to record the race-day meet and create a highlights package of the event, which can be viewed online.”

With such an integrated project, and the support of ACG School Jakarta’s expert teachers and education specialists, students are certainly preparing for the race of their lives!