BRITISH STUDENTS PREPARE TO WIN AT F1 IN SCHOOLS WORLD FINALS 2011
Giving up the summer holiday and having little spare time for leisure has been a necessity for three British teams of students who will travel to Malaysia next month for the F1 in Schools™ World Finals 2011, an event which brings together 23 teams to compete for the Bernie Ecclestone Trophy and University scholarships in this leading global educational initiative. Welsh team, Fflam from Botwnnog School, Gwynedd; Scotland's team, C-Force from Craigroyston School, Edinburgh and English team Dynamic from St John Payne Catholic School, Chelmsford will be flying the flag for Great Britain and are all eager to bring home the coveted World Champions trophy.
Each team is hoping that their unique design of scale model Formula 1™ car of the future will be a world beater, but they also know that the competition will be tough with all teams vying for the title. The British teams have been working for nearly a year on their designs with an impressive amount of research and innovation put into their models.
The Chelmsford team, Dynamic, turned to City University, London for help with their wind-tunnel testing, putting their 15cm long balsa wood model into the aerodynamic testing facility usually reserved for prototype road and race cars.
Akin to the real world of Formula 1, the teams seek sponsorship to finance their programme and Fflam has taken a novel approach to this. The team logo appeared on the doors of Osian Pryce and Lester Williams rally car in the Cambrian Rally and the Wales Rally GB, putting the team's name in front of potential sponsors and the local motorsport scene.
C-Force has benefited from a recent mention in Scottish parliament with Colin Keir, MSP for Edinburgh Western, recently lodging a parliamentary motion congratulating the team. He said: "The degree of skill and precision performed by these pupils is outstanding. What we're potentially seeing here is emerging young talent in engineering, which is good news for the industry. I congratulate Craigroyston High School and the pupils of the C-Force team for getting involved in the project and looking at science and engineering in a practical, dynamic and fun way."
Government and industry recognise that Britain needs more engineers and F1 in Schools is designed to introduce students to the principles using the popularity of Formula 1. 'Alumni' from the initiative have certainly proved its success with students working at Formula 1 teams and an F1 engine manufacturer, and others choosing to take engineering-based courses at Universities and Colleges.
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 air 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 World Finals each team will bring along a pit display, 3 identical cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the 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 World Finals at 1.020 seconds.
The F1 in Schools World Finals 2011 take place at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 19 – 21st September. For further information visit www.f1inschools.com.
Giving up the summer holiday and having little spare time for leisure has been a necessity for three British teams of students who will travel to Malaysia next month for the F1 in Schools™ World Finals 2011, an event which brings together 23 teams..
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