Over 120 students from nine schools were involved in the Victorian State Finals of the F1 in Schools Challenge last week, held at Bosch Australia’s Headquarters and Group Technical Centre in Clayton on 14–15 November.
The F1 in Schools STEM Challenge is the world’s foremost student competition for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.Each year more than 17,000 schools in 44 nations take part in a competition to develop the world’s fastest miniature F1 car.
In Australia, approximately 40,000 students are involved. Australia has dominated this global competition since it launched in 2003, with six world titles and eight “Best Engineered Car” Awards, amongst many others. This is more than any other nation.
“The passion, creativity and ingenuity I’ve seen in these youngsters gives me confidence that school programs like this are sparking enthusiasm in kids to pursue STEM education”, said Gavin Smith, President at Bosch Australia.
Mimicking the world of a Formula One team, groups of students have to follow a pathway of engineering and manufacturing disciplines: design, anaylse, test, make and race. The teams are independently judged by professional engineers, educators and business people across 11 criteria over the two days.
Car speed is one of the 11 criteria. Australia currently holds the world speed record of 0.916 seconds (from 0-80km/h). Powered by compressed air, the miniature F1 cars race down a 20m track at 60-80km/h. The cars are just over 20cm long and made from a combination of balsa with rapid prototyped or 3D printed parts.
F1 in Schools is operated by not-for-profit social enterprise, Re-Engineering Australia (REA) Foundation, which was pioneered in 1998 by engineer Dr Michael Myers OAM. The program aims to develop skills in problem solving, project management, communication, presentation, teamwork, innovation, self-promotion, collaboration, marketing and entrepreneurialism.
Peter Clinton, Teacher in Charge of F1 in Schools at Trinity Grammar, commented: “We are extremely grateful for the support from Bosch Australia of the F1 in Schools program. Hosting the State Finals this year at Bosch was a fantastic opportunity for the students by supporting the program which continually inspires and motivates the students to excel in their pursuits.”
Bosch Australia was the sponsor of the Victorian State Finals and also sponsors 14 individual F1 in Schools teams. One of the teams, Trident Automotive, achieved 2nd place at the State Finals, and will now be heading to the National Finals. Those winners then represent Australia at the World Finals against schools from over 40 nations. Dr Collette Burke, Victoria’s Chief Engineer, was able to assist in the presentation to the winners. First place was awarded to team Evolve from Trinity Grammar School in Kew, and third place to team Catalyst from Trinity Grammar also.
“We would like to thank Bosch Australia for your amazing support to our team, enabling us to achieve our goals. It is great for a team like us to partner with such a great company”, said James Lam, from F1 in Schools team Trident Automotive from Haileybury College.
REA’s Dr Michael Myers said: “We inspire and equip young people to become highly employable and enable them to take on the world.”