14-year-old F1 in Schools students wow FIA conference delegates in Paris

It was a mixture of nerves, excitement and pride for a team of 14-year-old students from Robert May's School, Odiham, Hampshire, when they made a presentation at the inaugural FIA Women in Motorsport National Coordinators' seminar, held in Paris last week.

Three girls from Team Adrenaline, a winning team from this year's F1 in Schools UK National Finals, were invited to speak about their F1 in Schools experience with FIA representatives from 47 countries, who were meeting to discuss ways of improving access to motorsport opportunities for women.

Amber Jackson, Resources Manager for Team Adrenaline, Ceira Clews, Marketing Manager and Holly Kinsey, Manufacturing Engineer gave an informative, well-rehearsed presentation, which explained the value of the F1 in Schools programme as well as challenging the audience into future action and support, particularly promoting interest and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to female students at an early age.

“It was a very nerve-wracking experience”, said Amber Jackson after the team had been on stage. “We were all very excited to be representing F1 in Schools and showing the audience what we have achieved by doing the challenge. We were sad when it was all over and really pleased it had gone without a hitch. We had some very good comments from some of the people who attended; it was an amazing day in France which I'll remember for a long time.”

The students also attended presentations by other speakers at the seminar, which gave them further insight into the opportunities for women in motorsport. "The presentations were professional, educational and inspirational; I cannot wait to be like them in the future,” said Holly Kinsey. "It boosted my passion to follow engineering and it is all thanks to the experience of F1 in Schools that I have found my career path.”

Ceira Clews said of her time at the seminar, "I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and it is great to see the FIA making a massive effort to get more women into the motorsport industry. My personal future ambition is to be in the motorsports industry as a graphic designer, continuing my role from our winning F1 in Schools team, and this has just made me even more determined to achieve my ambition.”

 Founder and Chairman of F1 in Schools, Andrew Denford was in Paris to see the Team Adrenaline girls give their presentation. He said of the girls' accomplishment, “It was a daunting task for these three 14-year-olds to stand on a stage in front of people from around the world and give such a remarkable presentation, but the audience reaction was exceptional, with a heartfeld round of applause at the end.

“There are no better ambassadors for F1 in Schools than the students themselves and this was re-emphasised by the girls. Their passion for the many different career opportunities which motorsport offers is born from practical application of their learning in an exciting programme. With the teamwork, competitive environment and technical challenges of motor racing mirrored in the F1 in Schools programme, students are fuelled with a better understanding of how STEM is the basis of many careers.”

Andrew Denford is appreciative of F1 in School's links with the FIA Women in Motorsport commission, Saying, “I am indebted to Michele Mouton (President of the Women in Motorsport commission) for linking with us and supporting us with opportunities such as the one which the girls from Team Adrenaline have had in Paris. We hope that we can continue to work with the commission in the future and with their partners around the world.”

F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of engineering, science and technology by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Students are given a brief to design a model compressed powered F1 Car of the future using CAD/CAM. Cars are then manufactured on a CNC machine. Each team of between three and six students, brings together their work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car, which is raced on a specially designed test track. At the National Finals stage each team takes along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a presentation for the judges.

The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the F1 Class cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 F1 in Schools World Finals, with a time of 1.020 seconds. Younger students design, build and race a Bloodhound car, linking with the upcoming British attempt on the World Land speed record, with the Bloodhound SSC project. The current record is held by Speeding Snails from Wilmington Grammar School, with a time of 0.620 seconds.


It was a mixture of nerves, excitement and pride for a team of 14-year-old students from Robert May’s School, Odiham, Hampshire, when they made a presentation at the inaugural FIA Women in Motorsport National Coordinators’ seminar, held in Paris....

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