Hi everyone! It's Javier. I thought I would update you on the physical testing myself and Tom have been doing since being back at school. To be honest it hasn't all gone to plan, but as James Dyson says ‘Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success’ I must admit this has been hard to follow! However over the last two weeks we’ve learned a variety of things that will be useful, some of which we would like to share with you.
In the lockdown we built, what we thought was, a perfectly clear and structured plan for the return to school on how to test our car from developments made in virtual analysis. On returning to school soon we realised that in reality things take longer than you think they will. Deadlines we set ourselves were obviously too optimistic and were missed, things break, rooms aren’t available, people get ill, etc. When we do this again we will of course create a logically structured plan but minimise chance for errors to occur and even have ideas of a contingency plan that could be used if a big error occurs!
Disappointingly we had quite a few issues with track testing. We recently stayed after school to set up our homemade 20m track. During this session we had a few ‘explosions’ with parts flying off in all directions. We have now learned about the importance of ‘just because it looks good and works in CAD doesn’t mean it works in the real world.’ Firstly because some parts may very easily break (as was common with us) and secondly as the tolerance of 3D printing means the physical model may be bigger or smaller than expected.
Despite this we, of course, did not give up! We love a challenge. We soon returned to test on our smaller 10m track which meant we could test more components in a shorter amount of time. As well as this we learned from our mistakes and re-designed some CAD to later re-print them to test. However, this wasn’t enough… As you can see from the image below it was pretty frustrating. The car snapped! This was very unexpected as we would expect compression not shear of the car due to it hitting the front of the body directly head on.
Although these are some major setbacks we had figured out how we will realistically be able to develop our Regionals car and gained a vast amount of knowledge. What’s the point in testing if you don’t learn anything? Following what real F1 teams do, we are working ahead on the Eclipse car and are treating this as one big development for the future.
UP NEXT: Tune in with Maisie to find out more information on how we plan to finish our verbal presentation, portfolios and pit display before the regional final submission deadline.
Hello, Maisie here, a quick blog from me this week as Evie and I are still undergoing exams at the moment as we are in Year 11, I am sure we are not alone trying to balance F1 in Schools and being in an examination year, its very stressful isn’t it?!?
In the past week a couple of the team met with Marcus Orlovsky face to face for the first time and gave him a tour of our technology department and to showcase what we have done so far. This meet has allowed him to understand more about the competition and he has continued to help us develop our presenting skills, I am looking forward to finally meeting him face to face for some verbal presentation practice in the Easter break.
For British Science Week Javier and Tom presented to Year 8 students to get them involved in STEM and explain the great competition that is F1 in Schools. This is also part of our sponsorship deals, to promote STEM to the community!
Due to covid restrictions we still can't get together as a team as we are in different bubbles. We are having to communicate via lots of texts, video chats, and we are filming what each other are doing so we are all in the loop.
We are finally completing some physical testing this week, Javier will let you know how that goes in his next blog. Stay safe everyone, not long until we can all meet (fingers crossed).
UP NEXT: Javier is back to update you on some of the physical testing himself and Tom have been doing!
Hello! It's Javier here. Were back with another video for the blog as we received lots of positive feedback from the last. If you want to get in contact please don't hesitate to reach out through our social media platforms or by email, enjoy!
UP NEXT: Maisie is back to take over for an awaited update on outreach and sponsorship! Has she managed to get anywhere with new and existing sponsors through lockdown?
Hello, my name’s Tom and I'll be writing this week's blog. With Evie and Maisie busy revising, Javier, Isaac and myself are supporting them by taking on their roles for the next few weeks.
I joined the team in the middle of January in order to take some of the weight off the rest of the team's shoulders. I have really enjoyed the last 2 months and the team has made me feel very welcome. However, It's hard work. Coming into a team of 4 that have been working together for the past year means you have to be able to bring something a little different to the table.
As the new manufacturing engineer I have been thrown into the deep end with developing what was our 2020 Nationals Car. I believe that this is the best way to do things when you're joining a team. If you work hard and listen to any advice from the rest of the team then you should be able to prove your a valuable member and they made a good decision to bring you on.
Due to the pandemic, I have only been talking with the team over Zoom so I’m really looking forward to meeting the team face to face. It’s been difficult to really get to know them on video calls so being in the workshop should be a good opportunity to get to know them more. My specialism is in design and aeronautics as these are the areas I hope to study in the future. I hope to bring presentation and design skills to the team as I have a background in public speaking and design. I hope to help the team on their journey to succeed and improve some of the weaker areas from last year's season.
I look forward to the rest of the season developing the car for the regional finals in July and hopefully making it to the National finals later on in the year. Can the new kid make a difference to this already successful team? I really hope so!
UP NEXT: Javier’s back for another update before Maisie takes over once again...
Hello! It's Javier, this week we are all preparing to return to our schools, face to face meets as a team, back into workshops and hopefully moving forward with the F1 in Schools challenge!
This should be filling us with excitement, we have been waiting for so long for it to happen, however, 2 of our team, Maisie and Evie are in Year 11 and the school have just told them they have exams in 2 weeks that will count towards their final GCSE grades. As a team we have had to assess how we can support each other to allow them to focus on their GCSEs without affecting our F1 in Schools journey. This is where having a great team spirit helps and hopefully we can share the workload, we are glad we are all involved in all aspects so we can take on each other's jobs when called upon.
It is not all bad news, the return to school means Tom and I can get back to physically testing the car, comparing to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). We are excited to see how virtual and physical testing compare in the test results.
We use Autodesk CFD Ultimate (2021) which provides fast and accurate fluid flow as well as having the capacity to show some of your results in a really satisfying way for portfolios and presentations (like the image below!). This software is FREE for any F1 in Schools team, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube of how to use this program. To download CFD Ultimate from the Autodesk website, click here.
Eclipse's 2020 Nationals Car in CFD
UP NEXT: Next week you will hear from our newest team member, Tom, as he steps in for Maisie.
Hi everyone, i'ts Maisie! This week we wanted to try something different, so we made a video for the blog as you can see below.... If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in contact through our social media platform or email. We hope you enjoy.
UP NEXT: Javier will be giving an update about the car development and how returning to school will impact us as a team...
Hello! It’s me, Javier, I’m back to give an update on our sponsorship and car progress. Earlier last week we announced on social media that our Platinum Sponsors, BAE Systems, are continuing to collaborate with us throughout the 20/21 season, this is massive news for the team as the multinational arms, security and aerospace company which provides us with sponsorship, manufacturing aid and expertise was once again willing to support our F1 in Schools journey. This collaboration was incredibly valuable in our first season, we would not have been so successful without them.
Finding a sponsor like BAE Systems which can not only provide sponsorship but other forms of support is immensely beneficial for a team wanting to succeed in this competition. We gain the advice and manufacturing abilities of industry experts and also receive significant sponsorship from this deal, making the partnership essential. It is important for us to give back to them in the best way possible, for us that is using their generous sponsorship to reinvest in our community.
So... how to do it for yourself? Eclipse’s top tip for gaining sponsorship is to go local, so many teams try to get the big companies, such as car makers, household brands etc. Look local, many companies want to inspire the next generation of engineers/entrepreneurs. We went with a 3 stage approach, a letter, a follow up email, and finally a phone call. This was A LOT of work with lots and lots of ‘no’ responses, but eventually the work paid off. Be sure to have a detailed return on investment plan, let the companies know what you will do for them as a result of gaining their money, services and/or expertise.
Tom and I are seeking advice from BAE Systems engineers about various parts of the car we are looking to develop. The joy of having external advice is that they set deadlines that you have to stick to. This week they asked us to produce a multipage document with information, engineering drawings and diagrams of various concepts. They will in turn give their opinions and advice on which concepts could actually be manufactured. We hope to meet with them soon and finalise some concepts to test when we return to school early on next month…
UP NEXT: Maisie will provide you with an update on the development of the teams verbal presentation skills and our pit display collaboration.
Hi, Maisie here, this week has been a little slower for us, being from the South-East of England the snow is a novelty and we wanted to take the opportunity to be out in it having fun! I thought I would use this post to update you on what we have been up to with our verbal presentation and pit display.
For our verbal presentation we realised from judges feedback that we needed to develop. We made contact with Marcus Orlovsky, (who is a motivational and educational speaker who has worked with TEDx) who has agreed to help us develop our skills. A video of Marcus giving a talk on TEDx is below:
The first thing he has taught us in one of our online meetings is be confident in what you are talking about, if it is personal to you, then you will be able to discuss more confidently. We now have individual meetings with him to develop our confidence in talking to new people. As a team we will need to present a full verbal presentation to him in a few weeks time to see if we are better than our first attempt. The biggest issue for us here is being available for our meetings whilst still having live lessons…..
After our meeting with a company that has agreed to build our pit display (if needed), we are still waiting for them to get back to us. This is something we have realised in our time in the competition, it can be frustrating waiting for responses and at what point do you keep nagging without seeming rude? I guess that is a life skill to develop, to keep the sponsors happy but still get things done on time! We have ideas, we have designs, but without their expert advice we do not know if they are possible; this is the problem with outsourcing………..
We will not stop over half term next week, we will continue to have our online meetings, developing and virtually testing the car designs as well as trying to meet with our partners. All go for an F1 in Schools team!
UP NEXT: Javier will provide you with an update on our sponsorship situation and on the development of our car.
Hi everyone, it's Javier from Eclipse, back again to give an update on our car developments. After a busy last week on the enterprise side of the project it was time for the design engineers, Tom and I, to step up and get working.
Our car performed pretty well at Nationals, and although it was not our fastest ever time we were pretty chuffed considering the circumstances, more importantly, both cars made it to the end of the track in one piece, having never been tested, phew!
We decided that we will not design an entirely new car, but to work with what we have and analyse areas to develop and hopefully improve track time. Our top tip here about any car designing is make sure the car meets all regulations. That is actually more important to your overall score than getting the fastest time (that is just a bonus!).
Having looked at areas to develop (the wings and wheel systems), we have produced CAD models and hope to discuss if they are possible with a company we may outsource manufacture to. We will of course analyse the new ideas in CFD and hopefully, go back into school for physical testing to see if these parts perform as the virtual analysis shows. We will keep you posted how we get on...
On another note a former student of our school, Stephanie Turner, always wanted a job linked to her favourite sport, Formula One, but didn't feel she would ever have the opportunity. She now works as a presenter promoting diversity in motorsport encouraging a greater participation from women and underrepresented groups.
The first link is to a selection of webinars hosted by inspirational women in motorsport, the second are interviews hosted by Jenni Gow about possible careers in the world of motorsport media.
Stephanie wanted you all to know that this kind of thing was not around when she was at school, and was completely unaware that she would ever get the opportunity to have a successful career linked to motorsport.
She hopes some of you take the time to have a look and maybe be inspired.
https://corp.formula1.com/women-of-f1-to-deliver-inspirational-talks-with-motorsport-uks-girls-on-track-programme/ - Steph will be the host in some of these sessions
UP NEXT: Maisie is going to provide us all with an update on the progress of our Pit Display and our Verbal Presentation
Hello! I’m back, it’s Maisie from Eclipse. This week has been busy to say the least. We had meetings with a potential pit display manufacturer, bearing suppliers and sponsors, all alongside our regular team meetings. Our teacher has told us that this competition is like building a house, the foundations take the longest amount of time and effort to produce, but no one actually sees it, however, you cannot produce great buildings (or F1 in Schools outcomes) without them. We think we know what he means...!
It does kind of sum up this week, we have been sorting and planning without actually having anything to show for our efforts. We do however have a clear plan of where we are going, what we want to test and develop on our car, what our pit display may look like and how it may be manufactured, as well as some ideas to generate sponsorship. Now we just need to work on getting all these ideas on paper and into a portfolio so they can earn us some marks….
The first F1 in Schools UK blog came out on Monday. We hope that by sharing our experiences we will give other teams some ideas, but we want to hear from you as well. F1 in Schools is one big family, we are all on this journey together. 2021 will be a hard season because of COVID but as a team we want to keep it as normal and exciting as possible even if the events aren't physical. Our team spirit is high, we are very keen to be part of this great competition. If you are feeling concerned or overwhelmed by the competition, why not connect with other teams on social media, ask for advice, share ideas? We love meeting new teams and being part of this great community spirit!
NEXT TIME: Javier will be filling you all in with an update on the car!
Well that was eventful... What happened? What's Next?
Hi everyone, I’m Maisie from Eclipse and this is our first blog of the new 2021 season! We realise this is going to be a strange season with the whole lockdown and uneasiness in society, but as a team we have decided to get cracking in the best way we can. As engineers we love a problem solving challenge!
Following on from Nationals 2020 we would expect most teams to find it hard to get going again. Although the virtual experience was amazing and enabled us to do what we love, it didn’t have the same impact as being there and socialising with all you guys!
As a team we decided to turn down the offer of going to the World Finals so we could focus on this new season. This was due to our lack of experience in the competition, we just did not feel ready for the World stage. Also we wanted to represent our sponsors well and didn’t want to let them down. Focusing on the 2021 season, with school being closed, the whole team has found it difficult to get motivated. To overcome this we started organising online meetings and making sure we had a plan for Regionals. As a team we have formed support bubbles to check how each other are getting on with their allocated tasks and to support wherever necessary. This process also motivates us to get our jobs done as we do not want to be the one letting the others down.
Recently we started work on our social media strategy, we will see what else this season brings, hopefully we can go into school soon to do some testing and development to the car or we will start to figure out an alternative way...
Hello everyone! It's Javier, Team Principal from Eclipse. After our first Regional finals in January of 2020 we were looking forward to meeting everyone at the National finals until the blasted COVID put an end to that! Having to work virtually towards the National finals was a real challenge, it really stumped us at the start but we found solutions to overcome the various challenges it imposed on us. Using Zoom, Google Software, Discord and other social media enabled us to keep in contact with each other, share work and manage to get everything finished in time for the National Finals.
With me being in Year 11 during lockdown 1, I had my GCSE exams cancelled, funnily enough this really helped out, as Team Principal & Design Engineer I had all the time in the world to organise meetings with the team and design and manufacture our car - producing the car at home, well, was quite hard to say the least... Despite this it definitely helped keep my frame of mind positive during a time of such uncertainty, having something to focus on was such a great positive through what could have been quite a depressing time... Luckily, all the challenges we had to overcome were worth it! We managed to place 3rd at Nationals, winning Best Pit Display and being nominated for Best Design & Engineering Portfolio, this was very unexpected in our first National finals and we were delighted.
This season we have found it difficult to find motivation after Nationals, especially with so much happening in the World. Not being able to meet at school had a big impact on us so we decided to take some time to recuperate and hopefully regain our spark. We have started contacting sponsors to work with once again, thus creating many deadlines we have to meet. This has really helped focus us again as we have to make them, especially when the sponsors have given us their time and effort, we cannot let them down. We have also added a new team member, Tom. We hope that some ‘fresh blood’ will also help freshen up the team and give us some new directions of thought.
UP NEXT: Stay tuned and come back next time to find out if we were able to do any testing or development of the car, if we met the deadlines with our most important sponsors and more...