The award-winning F1 in Schools STEM Challenge, the largest global education initiative, runs in 46 countries with the annual World Finals bringing together the best teams from across the globe. This year’s event features 51 teams, with over 300 students competing for the ultimate prize, the World Champions trophy and coveted University scholarships for City, University of London and UCL Engineering.
New countries to the event this year will be Spain, represented by one team, Japan with one team and Thailand with two teams. These teams will meet students from 22 other countries and can expect a week to remember and memories to last a lifetime.
The event begins with scrutineering, with each team submitting two examples of their bespoke designed and built F1 in Schools car, a 21cm long scale model Formula 1 car of the future, along with their engineering drawings and technical specification sheets. The following day is pit building with each team creating their own display area to showcase the work that they have done to produce their F1 in Schools car.
An Opening Ceremony with the Ministry of Education will formally start two days of competition, with every aspect of each team’s work scrutinised by a panel of judges. The written portfolios, pit displays, marketing and sponsorship strategy documents will be reviewed by experienced F1 in Schools judges. Each team will give a verbal presentation of their work to a team of judges and the teams will meet with an Engineering judging panel to explain the technical details of their F1 in Schools car.
At the heart of F1 in Schools is the racing and each team will race both of their cars on the F1 in Schools race track, a 20 metre straight that will see the cars speed along in around one second and reach a scale speed of up to 70 kph. The one-second barrier has been broken in the three previous World Finals events, with the current world record (LERS assisted) set last year by Australian team, Infinitude, standing at 0.916 seconds.
Following an intensive two days of judging, the teams will be on their final laps, with the Autodesk Pressure Challenge and the Knockout Racing. The Pressure Challenge is a task given to each team to complete within a specified time, with the details for this challenge only released at the start of the time limit, a real test of coping and working as a team for each of the world finalists. The Knockout Racing always provides another nerve-wracking test, particularly for the team member selected to ‘drive’ the team’s car, needing to have a quick reaction time as well as a fast car to beat the rest of the teams and take the win.
Alongside this final day of activity the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy Assessment Centre will be the destination for 25 applicants who successfully won through the first stage to aim for a place at the Academy. They will be put under the spotlight for the final stage of the selection process with a distinguished panel of Williams Racing personnel assessing the talented F1 in Schools World Finalists. Up to 10 students will be awarded a place in the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy.
The Randstad Williams Engineering Academy is a remote e-learning programme with the successful candidates receiving support, training and guidance to underpin their Engineering education. The curriculum consists of e-learning based course materials that are completed via an e-learning portal, a yearly essay based project, and mentoring and tutoring from Engineers at Williams.
The culmination of a busy, high pressure week of competition will be the Awards Celebration Gala Dinner, with 23 awards presented to deserving teams and the crowning of the World Champions. Regularly attended by Formula 1 team representatives, drivers and paddock personalities, this is a glittering event that attracts worldwide media attention.
After all the hard work the students are able to relax and enjoy the 2017 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX that starts for the teams on Thursday with a track coach tour and an exclusive pit lane walk and garage tours for award winning teams.
Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, says of the action-packed week of World Finals activity, “This event is truly an amazing experience for everyone of the students. We know that they put so much effort into putting in the best performance they can, designing their cars to such a high standard, finding new and innovative ways to research and test them, manufacturing with the utmost precision and then presenting all their work with such professionalism.
It always blows me away to see how strong teamwork and real dedication can produce such outstanding results and I’m always exciting to see how the teams tackle all the tests that this challenge presents to them. It’s going to be a fantastic event and I can’t wait to get to Malaysia.”
The F1 in Schools World Finals 2017 takes place with the support of a host of sponsors including Formula One Management, Denford Ltd, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Autodesk, FIA Women in Motor Sport Commission, City, University of London, UCL Engineering, Sepang International Circuit and DHL.