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Young car engineers race for victory as Formula One comes to Newton Abbot pioneering school

January 23, 2018 | News

School’s from across the south west gathered at Newton Abbot’s pioneering secondary school, South Devon University Technical College (UTC), to go head-to-head in a special Formula One challenge.

Students from The Crypt School, Exeter School, Colyton Grammar School, Churchdown School Academy, The Castle School and North Somerset Engineering and Technology College, came together at South Devon University Technical College (UTC) to take part in the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge.

Raising awareness of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and Formula One amongst young people around the world, F1 in Schools challenged students to work in teams to design, construct and race the fastest Formula One Car of the Future powered by compressed air cylinders.

The Regional Final at South Devon UTC saw students aged 11 to 19 design and construct their miniature F1 drag racing cars using 3D CAM (Computer Aided Design) software. Vehicles were presented to a panel of judges before the teams went head-to-head, racing them on a special track set up in the South Devon UTC’s modern Challenge Arena. After a nail-biting day, a team from Colyton Grammar School came out on top and will now proceed to the UK National Final at Silverstone on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th March 2018. Teams from The Crypt School and Churchdown School Academy who came second and third and Exeter School who placed 1st in the development class will also proceed to the national final. Winners of the National Final will compete in the international world final against teams from across the globe for the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions Trophy.

In addition to designing and constructing their racing cars, teams had to follow the same processes used by real F1 teams which include creating a business plan, develop a budget and raise sponsorship. Students also had to put together an informative display showing their work through all stages of the project, put together enterprise and engineering portfolios and give a verbal presentation to the judging panel.

Principal Ian Crews commented: “It was such an honour to host the F1 in Schools Challenge and we were delighted to show students where a STEM career could take them. The judges were really impressed with what the students had created and it was great to watch how excited and passionate they were about their creations. F1 in Schools not only teaches young people how to create a race car but also highlights how important a well-executed business plan is.”

Ian continued: “The aim of F1 in Schools is to change the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and maths by creating a fun and exciting challenge where young people can truly explore STEM and develop an informed view about careers that utilise these subjects. I hope that by participating in the challenge, young people from across the south west will seriously consider a career in engineering, science, technology or maths.”