- Wednesday, 30 August 2023 at 12:00 am
A team of junior speedsters will race miniature Formula One (F1) cars on a 20-metre track in less than one second on the global stage next month.
Their innovation and engineering skills will be put on show at the F1 in Schools(opens in a new window) global final in Singapore from Sunday 10 to Tuesday 12 September 2023.
‘Team Hadron’ from Alamanda K-9 College in Point Cook and Phoenix P-12 Community College in Ballarat will progress to the world finals, competing against 67 teams from 33 nations. Six other schools from Australia will compete, including 2 other Victorian schools – Trinity and Brighton Grammar schools.
Australian schools have a great track record at the event, holding the world record of 0.916 seconds, set in 2016 by a team from St Bede’s College in Melbourne and Brighton Secondary in Adelaide.
About F1 in Schools
F1 in Schools is the world’s most competitive challenge for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students, involving 13,000 schools in more than 50 nations. In Australia, about 100 schools are involved each year.
During the competition, students design and experiment with carbon dioxide-powered miniature F1 cars. To produce the fastest car possible, teams design, analyse, make, race and review their cars, following the same steps used in Formula One racing. They also produce an engineering and enterprise portfolio, a trade display and an oral presentation for judging by industry experts.
The F1 in Schools challenge inspires students to pursue careers in high-demand vocations such as mechanical engineering, robotics engineering, and computer-aided design and manufacturing.
Alamanda College national champions
In November 2022, the team from Alamanda College finished third and won 4 awards at the Victorian F1 in Schools final. The event was held at Wyndham Tech School, which mentored schools through the competition.
Students Sahitya Chavali, Srishti Pathak, Dulain Withanage, Shaeshan Senthilnath and Thej Vinodhkhumar then went on to defeat 13 other schools to become National Champions in the Development Class competition at the F1 in Schools National Final.
The team, Xeleron, also won coveted awards for Best Engineering CAD, Best Manufactured Car, Best Engineered, Best Graphic Design, Best Team Marketing and Best Team Trade Display, demonstrating their versatility and creativity in a range of disciplines.
Dulain said his team worked tirelessly to meet deadlines: ‘Though the rigour of the process is demanding, it's eclipsed by the thrilling prospect of representing not just our school but also our community, our state and even our country at the world finals.’
Teacher Tracey Hubert said working with the students had been a transformative experience.
‘It is vastly different from teaching in a conventional classroom setting,’ Tracey said.
‘They have tackled challenges, solved complex problems, and developed abilities that will serve them incredibly well as they continue with their studies and embark on their future careers.
‘Watching them grow and excel in these areas has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my teaching career.’
Phoenix College podium finish
A team from Phoenix College finished second and won 4 awards at the Victorian F1 in Schools final.
Students William Kynoch, Hayden Gregg, Aston Brownbill, Lachlan Kynoch and Brad Vinall then took out third place in the Professional Class competition at the F1 in Schools National Final.
Their team, Nexus, finished behind teams from Trinity Grammar and Brighton Grammar in the overall rankings but defeated 16 other schools to become knockout champions. The team also won an award for Best Team Innovation in the Professional Class competition.
William said the greatest part of the experience was seeing the team grow as ‘critical thinkers’.
‘We received enormous support to grow as critical thinkers, develop and train industry specific skills and create character as individuals,’ William said.
Teacher Christof Muller said it was a delight to work with such a bright group of students.
‘It has been an absolute honour as a teacher to see these students advancing with the opportunities available in the public education system, honing their skills and representing Australia in one of the biggest STEM challenges in the world.’
Good luck to both teams for the event ahead. There’s nothing left to say except, ‘start your engines!’
Find out more
For further information, visit F1 in Schools(opens in a new window).