F1 in Schools is a challenge where students from 26 countries compete for the Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Championship trophy. This involves using CAD/CAM computer software to design, analyse, manufacture test and race miniature F1 cars.
The cars are powered by compressed gas and can reach speeds of 50mph at the end of a 20m track. Not only is there is a rigorous set of technical regulations to follow but the students have to demonstrate the wider functions of a real F1 team, including all aspects of marketing and finding sponsors.
Click on the image to the right to see a video that shows the scope of the competition.
This year is going to be the year. In 2012 we did amazingly well, winning three trophies in spite of knowing next to nothing about 3D design, Aerodynamics or CNC machining! In 2013 we were no longer classified as rookies but still managed to give a good account of ourselves - our car was the second fastest at the UK nationals but we only came fifth overall, mainly because we hadn’t paid enough attention to the portfolio and presentation. This year, however, we are feeling quietly confident. Lessons have been learnt. We know what the judges are looking for and how to do things. We are designing a radical new car that exploits Warwick University’s 3D printing facilities to the full. The portfolio is planned, as is the pit display and presentation and we are working every lunch time, one evening after school and Saturday mornings to ensure everything gets completed in time. Watch this space!
“We have just come back from the F1 in Schools 2014 national competition where we came first place overall making us the UK National champions. We also won the fastest car award and the Best portfolio award. The competition was a great experience and we are looking forward to going to Abu Dhabi in November this year to represent the UK in the F1 in Schools World Finals. We would like to thank all of our sponsors who supported us either by providing help or by providing money. We would also like to thank all of our teachers for helping us achieve this. We are currently taking a break from F1 to study for our GCSEs but once these are finished we will be posting details of our preparations for Abu Dhabi”
Tom B, Tom G, Harry, Ryan
Whittle Wonders - F1 in Schools UK Champions!
The weekend of March 15th was the finals of the F1 in Schools competition and I am rather pleased to say that we won! Our team, Whittle Wonders, is the UK F1 in Schools champion for 2014 and is through to the world finals, which take place in Abu Dhabi in November.
This is a tremendous achievement; in the world of engineering, student awards don't get much more prestigious than this. As an illustration, last year the Australian government gave $25,000 to help its national team prepare for the world finals and London's City University offered scholarships to the world champions.
Since September the team have worked every Monday after school, most lunch times and every Saturday morning (including holidays). F1 in Schools embraces all aspects of a real F1 team and is tremendously demanding. The competitors not only have to design a model F1 car using a 3D drawing package, they have to use fluid dynamics to optimise its shape, manufacture it using CNC equipment, and race it on a 20m track, where it reaches around 60mph. Our team excelled in this, making extensive use of the 3D printing facilities at Warwick University and testing their car at Coventry University's wind tunnel. However, it is not all about engineering, they have to do marketing, create a team image, and find sponsors. As part of the judging they have to deliver a 10 minute presentation; prepare a 20 page portfolio of their work and create a pit display. As you will gather, this is more of an F1 undergraduate activity than an 'F1 in Schools' one.
F1 in schools is well established as a worldwide event; last year 20,000 teams from 40 countries took part. And at this year's final, the one representing the UK will be from North Leamington School.
The team also won trophies for the Fastest Car and Best Portfolio.
Joy Mitchell, Headteacher, said:
“I’m absolutely delighted and very proud of the success of the school F1 Team. Becoming National Schools Champions is a fantastic achievement that is thoroughly deserved and a real accolade for the school and the work that we do to support the creativity, design and engineering skills of our students. The team have shown real team spirit, a dedication and commitment to learn which has led to this success.”
Many thanks to everyone for your continued support of the team, and do stay tuned for future news and events on what is set to be a very exciting year indeed!
The team: Ryan, Tom, Tom and Harry.
The team with their pit display.
UK National Champions!
After finishing in second place and being the recipient of the Jaguar Best Engineered Car Award at the F1 in Schools Regional Competition at Aston University (Birmingham), the Whittle Wonders team were promoted to the UK National Finals, representing North Leamington School, which was held at the London ExCeL on March 15th and 16th.
The first notable result of the competition for the team was finishing as the second fastest car, with just a minuscule time deficit of six-thousandths of a second behind the winning team, Red Set Racing. However, this small disappointment was offset when the Whittle Wonders received the Innovative Thinking Award for their unique bamboo-fibre aerofoils.
On behalf of the team, I would like to thank Mr Hodge, Mr Whiting and all other staff members, and in addition our parents, for making this opportunity possible for us all. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and we were pleased with the camaraderie of the team. We hope to enter again next year - and hopefully we will bring the Fastest Car trophy to our school.
Thomas – Specialist Engineer, Whittle Wonders
|The 2013 Team: Robin, Sam, Tom, Harry, Tom and Ryan||The 2013 Awards|
NLS F1 in Schools Team in the News!
North Leamington School took part in the challenge this year and won trophies for Fastest Car, Innovative Thinking and Best Rookie Team.
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