The popular educational initiative, F1 in Schools™, is now taking entries for the UK 2013-14 competition season, so motorsport fans, future engineering stars, budding artists and young entrepreneurs are encouraged to head over to to find out more. With the top prize of scholarships to City University London on offer to the World Champions, registering to take part is the first step to be in with a chance of winning this amazing life-changing opportunity.
F1 in Schools has proven to be a unique programme which offers students a fun, exciting and engaging competition which not only has wide-ranging educational benefits, but develops valuable life skills. The programme has helped students develop confidence, determine career paths and in many cases, assisted in securing a place at universities and colleges. In addition, a number of students from winning teams have been able to earn industry work placements at Formula One™ teams and companies associated with motorsport through their involvement with F1 in Schools.
The current F1 in Schools UK Champions, Red Set Racing, from Sprowston Community High School, Norwich, are having a busy year after winning the title in March. As part of their prize the team were guests of Silverstone circuit for the 2013 FORMULA ONE SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX with an exclusive visit to the F1™ paddock and recently visited the home of Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes for a tour of the Formula 1 team’s headquarters. They are now focused on preparing to compete for the World Champions title at the F1 in Schools World Finals being held in November in Austin, Texas alongside the 2013 FORMULA ONE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX.
Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, says of the initiative, “We are entering our 14th year of F1 in Schools competition in the UK and since it was introduced back in 2000 it has grown to be a well-established and professionally run programme for students to learn in a practical, challenging, environment. Formula 1 is a very popular sport which is the initial attraction for many students, but it is not just fans of motor racing taking part, it is students who enjoy the challenge of competition, working as a team and seeing the fruits of their work judged against their peers from around the country.”
Andrew adds, “F1 in Schools is not just a national competition, it takes places in over 40 countries, so success at a national level can lead to international competition, which ups the stakes competitively, but also offers even greater rewards with the chance to travel to another country, meet students from around the world and enrich learning through participation. Ultimately, each year we crown the F1 in Schools World Champions who win university scholarships to City University London, which is a major prize on top of all the other benefits from competing in F1 in Schools.”
A recent announcement that leading design software company, Autodesk, has become the premier software partner and will supply $80,000 worth of software free of charge for F1 in Schools participants and schools is a major breakthrough for the programme and is expected to accelerate further national and international expansion.
F1 in Schools has recently launched a new website for the UK competition, with a clear, concise layout which is easy to navigate and caters for the needs of students, teachers, parents and sponsors who are participating in the initiative or who are interested to find out how to get involved. Free of charge Autodesk software is also available via the new website.
“Our new website is a great starting place for anyone interested in F1 in Schools,” says Andrew. “We show prospective participants the value of F1 in Schools through videos, images and case studies and provide clear instructions for signing up. We hope that we’ll see many new teams enrol for the next season, build their race cars and line up on the grid at one of our regional finals early next year.”
F1 in Schools challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm long scale model built from a block of balsa wood and powered by a compressed air cylinder. Each team of between three and six students creates a ‘pit’ display and showcases their work in developing their race car, with a verbal and written presentation for the judges. The teams then race their model car on a specially designed 20 metre test track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second. The Challenge, in its thirteenth year, was introduced to the UK in 2000 and since this time has expanded to over 40 countries, reaching over 20 million students taking part around the globe.
Key dates for F1 in Schools 2013/14
14th January 2014 :  North East Regional Final –The Great Northern Museum, Newcastle
16th January 2014 : Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Final  –TATA Steel, Scunthorpe
22nd January 2014 : Central Regional Final –AUEA UTC, Birmingham
28th January 2014 : South West Regional Final – Exeter University
29th January 2014 : South Wales Regional Final – Swansea Waterfront Museum
5th February 2014 :  London & South East Regional Final - City University, London
11th February 2014 : North Wales Regional Final - Bangor University
13th February 2014 : North West Regional Final – Jaguar Land Rover, Halewood
20th February 2014 : Northern Ireland Regional Final –W5, Belfast
25th February 2014 : Scotland Regional Final – Fife College, Kirkcaldy
13th March 2014 : F1 in Schools Bloodhound Class National Finals - Big Bang Fair, Birmingham NEC
14-15th March 2014 : F1 in Schools National Finals - Big Bang Fair, Birmingham NEC

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