F1 in Schools Regional Final
Last week saw three teams from Year 10 travel to Harlow College to present their Formula 1 in Schools projects at the Regional Finals. The pupils – under the watchful eye of their Sixth Form mentors – have spent the last term preparing their projects, which include car designs, posters, merchandise and technical information.
The Regional Finals gave pupils the opportunity to present their work to a panel of judges as well as get a sense of what other schools – some of whom had up to fours years’ experience in the competitions – had created. As this was the first time Berkhamsted had attended a Regional Finals, it was an excellent learning opportunity and offered plenty of potential on how to improve for next year. While Berkhamsted did not progress to the National Finals on this occasion, our three teams all came away with credit. Peregrine Racing won the award for Fastest Car, Sennamatic picked up the award for Best Research and Design, while Inferno Wheels achieved the second fastest start.
Two Year 10 pupils, Charles and Amber, offered their thoughts on the experience and what they have learned from it.
Charles, Amber, what did you have to do to prepare for the Regional Finals?
Charles: To prepare for the Regional Finals we had to design and make a car and a pit display. We had to write two five-page portfolios about our enterprise and our design and engineering processes. At the start, our main focus was designing the car; however, as we progressed with the car design our focus shifted to other aspects such as the pit display and the portfolios.
Amber: Our team went on a trip to University College London where we got to test our reaction speed so we can send our car down the track as quick as possible. We went through sessions throughout the day learning about 3D printing, the design rules and general tips for making our car. This allowed us to understand more about the competition beforehand. We used Autodesk Fusion to design the car – this was the first time the team and I used this software. It is a design software focused on creating 3D images and models. We 3D printed many different models before our final one and took into account the aerodynamics and wind drag that could factor the cars performance. We also found a sponsor, who helped us by donating money for our team uniforms and stickers for the car.
What do you feel you have learnt from being involved in the F1 in Schools project?
Charles: I feel that as Project Manager I have learnt how to work and lead a group of people to make something with deadlines. I have also developed my communication skills further, as I have had to reach out to possible sponsors to try and get support for our project. As a team we have learnt that it is better to leave issues in the past and instead of dwelling on them learning from them and moving on as if you get bogged down in it, it can have a large impact on what you are doing and the overall quality of what we produce.
Amber: I feel like this project has developed all our skills in designing as well as figuring out as a team what were the best options for our car to be successful. We can apply this software in the future in our DT GCSE and it will help elevate us above our peers in terms of skills using a design software. We have also learnt how to promote ourselves online to gain sponsorship and be noticed by companies. Overall I recommend F1 in Schools to anyone who wants to give it a try!