The recently crowned F1 in Schools 2013 UK National Champions, Red Set Racing, a team of students from Sprowston Community High School in Norfolk, greeted a very special visitor to their school last week, with Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, making a special trip to Sprowston to congratulate the team on their success.
The three students, Ryan Clabon, Tom Carver and Will Mulhall, showed Mr Cable their winning car and the work that they had produced for the F1 in Schools initiative, including their impressive Portfolio documentation of the project. The students also showed him the school's new Denford CNC Router which, as the winning school of the National Champions, was given by Denford Ltd.
Ryan Clabon, Team Manager of Red Set Racing said of the visit, “We were very proud to be meeting with Mr Cable and to have the opportunity to show him our work for the F1 in Schools competition and showcase this great educational programme. We also talked to him about our plans for the F1 in Schools World Finals which are in Austin, Texas, as we're now working on a new car to take to the USA to compete against F1 in Schools National Champions from over 25 different countries.”
Graham Parker from Sprowston Community High School who mentors Red Set Racing for F1 in Schools said of Vince Cable's visit, “It was great to see Mr Cable taking the time to come and meet the team, congratulate them on their achievement and find out more about F1 in Schools. He was very impressed with the quality of the students' work and the F1 in schools initiative itself.”
Mr Parker is a staunch supporter of F1 in Schools and was keen for Mr Cable to appreciate the benefits of the programme for the D & T national curriculum. Mr Parker explains, “Over the last three years I have developed GCSE Engineering at my current school and I have seen numbers increase from 13 boys in the first year to almost 40 this year. I have also overseen a significant improvement in results for D&T, rising from 47% A*-C to over 81% last year. Engineering itself playing a big part in this success with 100% A*-C pass rate. I have no doubt this improvement has been driven significantly by the success of the F1 in schools project.
“In my 15 years as an educational professional I have not known a project to motivate students the way F1 in schools does. We now have teams made up of D&T Graphics, Business Studies and Engineering students from across the school and we are having amazing success. Having the opportunity to speak with Mr Cable on this and the direction that is being taken with curriculum development was very important to me and I was grateful for the time with him.”
Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, adds, “Graham has demonstrated how much value F1 in Schools offers to education and inspiring students to achieve in their chosen subjects. The chance to communicate this to government at a high level through the success of his students was a great achievement for Graham and we applaud his support for F1 in Schools. I have no doubt that Mr Cable's visit to Sprowston Community High School will be a great help in our efforts to secure wider government support for the programme's place within the curriculum.
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.The recently crowned F1 in Schools 2013 UK National Champions, Red Set Racing, a team of students from Sprowston Community High School in Norfolk, greeted a very special visitor to their school last week, with Vince Cable MP..
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