Student Projects

Independent-learning super-curriculum projects: reading, research and ideas shared by Perse students

Higher Project Qualifications: Adam G, Garret S, Year 10

The HPQ project is an opportunity to independently research a topic that interests you.  It is extra-curricular but is equivalent to around ½ a GCSE and comes with lots of benefits you may not expect.

My interest in design and engineering and passion for Formula 1 led me to choose “Why is the use of exhaust gases to gain aerodynamic benefit so important in Formula 1?”  as my project title. My project allowed me to gain insights into advanced car design processes and research tools, and understand the importance of the application of Physics principles and mathematical concepts in design engineering. In addition it offered me the chance to develop important research and project skills, as well as establish some valuable industry contacts. One of these contacts later helped me to get a week’s work experience at the McLaren team. As the project did not always go smoothly (a limited initial response from teams and a lack of information in books), it taught me to be resilient and to keep at something until you get a breakthrough.


“Willem Toet (2013) (1) noted that aerodynamics is not the most important ‘performance factor’ based on the potential lap time gain if the same percentage improvement were made to a range of parameters (including grip from tyres, suspension etc, vehicle mass and centre of gravity, engine and transmission of power, and aerodynamics). However considering what teams are permitted to change (to comply with FIA rules), and the effort required to make changes, aerodynamic performance has proved to be a key differentiator.”

Adam G, Year 10

How Did The Crimean War Contribute to the Decline of the Austrian Empire?

The Crimean War, though known mostly now for the Charge of the Light Brigade and Florence Nightingale, had a huge affect on the other participants in the war. For Austria, through a loss of their friendship with Russia, and the promotion of the hostile dictator Napoleon III, the Crimean War had disastrous consequences, such as the loss of huge swathes of territory as well as setting the scene for the war that would end her – the First World War.

The  Higher Project Qualification is a great way to explore in more detail a subject of interest. I had only a very shallow understanding of the 19th Century, but having embarked upon this project, not only have I gained insights into the past, but into the modern world. Whether seeing recent Russian expansion as part of a historical trend, and the logic behind it, or understanding the nations in Europe in light of their (relatively recent) history.

Garret S, Year 10

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