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The Formula-1 dream

The Formula-1 dream

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Published by Ralph Adam
By Ralph Adam. Published in IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology) Member News, issue 28, October 2011, pages 19-21
By Ralph Adam. Published in IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology) Member News, issue 28, October 2011, pages 19-21

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Ralph Adam on Nov 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/11/2014

 
FORMULA1INSCHOOLS
Formula1inSchoolshasmorphedintotheonlyworldwidemulti-disciplinarychallengefor pupilsaged9to19andisnowthelargestglobaleducationalinitiativepromotingSTEMsubjects.
RalphAda(11
reportsontheexcitementandthelearning...
'REAL'FORMULA1
FORMULA1ISauniversally-recognised name-oneofthestrongestsportingbrands: amassivetelevisionevent,withmillions watchingeachrace.Notonlyisitclaimedto betheworld'smostexpensivesport,butit hasapowerfuleconomicimpactandthe sport'sfinancialandpoliticalbattlesare reportedeverywhere.'"Averageworldwidelivetelevision
gj
audiencesforFormula1exceed50million;
8
thehigh-profiledriversandtheirteams' merchandisingneedheavyinvestmentfrom sponsors.Thattranslatesintohugebudgets fortheconstructorteams,ofwhomseveral havegonebankruptorbeenboughtoutin recentyears.The'formula'inthename referstoasetofruleswithwhichallpartici- pantsandcarsmustconform. Thechassis'smaincomponentisthe monocoque,incorporatingthesurvivalcell and,withinthat,thecockpit.Theengineand frontsuspensionaremounteddirectlyonto thechassisandtherulesrelatingtothecars' constructionareextremelystrictwithhighlyskilledtechniciansbeingneededto assembleallthepartsinasetsequence.
THECAR
AndwhatoftheFlcaritself?Fewmachines areashighlystressedastheengineand transmissionofamodernFormula1car.
THE'YOUTHFUL'Fl
Theschoolsversionis,understandably, ratherdifferent.Unlike'real'Formula1
19
lETMEMBERNEWS'OCTOBER2011'WWWTHEIET.ORG/MEMBERNEWS
 
FORMULA1INSCHOOLS
<Ill
cars,withtheirhundredsofcarbon-fibrecomponentsbondedbyultra-powerful adhesives,F1inSchoolschallengespupilstousesoftwaretodesign,build,testandracea miniatureF1carmadefrombalsawoodandpoweredbyasinglecompressedaircylinder.Eachthreetosix-memberteamreceivesastarterkit,whichincludesthebasicmaterialsneededtoconstructtheircar.Apartfromteamsize,mostoftherulesandregulationsconcernthebalsawood'cars'andtheirdimensionsandweight.Itis recommended,butnotcompulsory;tohavea back-upcarwhenracing.Thebreachofanyruleleadstodisqualification.F1inSchoolswasfoundedbyAndrewDenford,itscurrentchairman.Thecompeti-tionwasfirstpilotedinBritainin1999,becominganationaleventthefollowingyearwithregionalroundstakingplacethroughouttheUK.Sincethen,developmenthasbeenrapid:in2002aninternationalfranchisewascreatedand,afterafewshortyears,ithasreachedanestimated18,000schoolsin34countries.Anotherlandmarkwasattainedin2005whenBernieEcclestone,Formulal'schief executive,gavepermissionfortheheavily- protectedFllogostobeused,aswellasdonatingatrophytobeawardedtotheworldchampions.ThecompetitionhasanincreasingnumberofpatronsfromtheF1
lETMEMBERNEWS'
OCTOBER2011WWW.THEIETORGlMEMBERNEWS
world,amongthemkeymembersoftheScuderiaFerrariMarlboroandVodafoneMcLarenMercedesteams.Inaddition,ithastwosupportingorganisations:thelETandCityUniversity;London.F1inSchoolsis alwayskeentohearfromlETmemberswho
would
liketosparesometimetovolunteerwiththeirprojects.EmailClaireMolinarioformoredetails(cmolinario@theiet.org). Ateachstageofthecompetition,entrantsbringtheirmodels,withsupportingpresentations,tobeassessedbyajudgingpanel.Thecarsareracedonaspecially-designedtesttrack.Eachschool findsitsownwinningteamtogothroughregional,nationalandinternationalstagesofthecompetition,culminatingintheglitteringF1inSchoolsWorldFinalswhich,thisyear,tookplace19-21Septemberin
Kuala
Lumpur,Malaysia.FortheFinals,eachteambringsapitdisplay;threeidenticalcarsandaportfolio,aswellastheirpresentation.Theultimatepartofthechallengeistherace,withteamscompetingalongaspecial20mstraighttrack.AswithrealF1, speedisoftheessence:thecurrentrecordisjustoverasecond,aspeedbarrierwhichisyettobebrokensinceTeamFUGAfromNorthernIrelandachieved1.020secondsatthe2007Finals.Foryoungerpupilsthereisalinkedchallengefortheconstructionofa
20
miniatureland-speedrecordcar,theBloodhoundSSC.Theeventmaybefun,butcompetitorsputhundredsofhours'workintocreatingtheirentries;oftengivinguptheirsummerbreakstoworkonthecars,seekingadvicefromexperts.Buttheyalsogetalotoutoftheirparticipation.Learningisnot,ofcourse,the soleaim.Thereistheexcitementofseeingnewplaces,thechancetomeetpeopleandopportunitiesfornovelexperiences,especiallywhentheybecomeinvolvedwith realF1teamsorareinvitedtotraveltomeetothercompetitorsontheirhomeground.
LEARNINGFROMFl
F1inSchoolsisunique:aLondon-basednon- profitorganisation,withsponsors'fundinginvestedinadministering,developingandexpandingthechallenge.Assuch,theevent hasmorphedintotheonlyworldwidemulti- disciplinarychallengeforpupilsaged9to19.Itisnowthelargestglobaleducationalinitiativepromotingscience,technology, engineeringandmathematics(STEM).Itsteammembersareinspiredtounder-standITapplicationsinawiderangeofsubjects,suchasphysics,aerodynamics, computing,finance,graphicsanddesign.A keyaimistohelpchangeperceptionsofscienceandtechnologybycreatingafunandexcitinglearningenvironmentforyoung

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