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Last Updated: Friday August 14 2009 05:07 GMT

We built and raced a model buggy

Press Packers Harriet and Beth designed and built a mini-airport buggy as part of an engineering project.

Press Packers Harriet and Beth designed and built a mini-airport buggy at school as part of an engineering project.

And then they had to race it!

Here's their report about how they got on:

Our school's Young Engineers Club won a place at the national finals of the BAA Racing Buggy Challenge which took place at Gatwick Airport.

There are 12 children in the club and four of us were chosen to go to the final to race the buggy we designed and made!

We had to design and make a buggy to pull a luggage trailer down a race track as quickly as possible.

The buggy had to be made from at least 50% recycled or environmentally friendly materials.

Recycled parts

So at the start of the project we looked at the sort of rubbish we throw away and got some good ideas for materials we could use.

We found a cardboard box that the supermarkets keep lettuces in and used this as the base.

And we used an old tent pole for the axles and made wheels out of CDs stuck to foam insulation board.

We tried different mechanisms to drive the buggy like pulleys and gears but in the end we had some problems with our motor as it was not strong enough to pull the buggy along.

So, we nearly gave up but Mr Price our school caretaker came to the rescue and helped us put in an old motor which had come from a broken remote controlled car.

Press Packer Beth gets the buggy ready to race!
Beth gets the buggy ready to race!

Developing the design

We also used a computer programme to design some ideas for how our buggy would look.

And we added a bumper to the front using springs which were old hair curlers and a plastic sweet box on top to give the driver good all round visibility.

When we tested the buggy on the school playground it went really fast!

We had a great day at the national finals. It was great to see lots of very clever ideas and designs by the other school teams.

Each team had to race their buggy across a distance and also pull a mini luggage trailer, like the real airport buggies have to do.

Fastest time

We were amazed when our buggy had the fastest time of all the schools taking part - 8.5 seconds!

We were really pleased to win the prize for the fastest race but were also so excited when we found out that we were the overall winners in our age group as well!

We think we were chosen because our buggy was made entirely from recycled materials and it looked like an airport buggy too."

Harriet and Beth, 10, Wolverhampton, England

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