Yesterday marked the end of the F1 in Schools™ World Finals 2013 in Austin, Texas, a global multi-disciplinary challenge where teams of students from 9 to 19 use CAD/CAM software to design, analyze, manufacture, test and race miniature balsa wood F1 cars powered by compressed air. This unique challenge gives young students the opportunity to use information technology to learn about everything that goes into designing a full-size vehicle, from physics and aerodynamics to marketing and media skills. Naturally, this makes them a perfect companion for EcoCAR 2 – which is why we were excited to have Kristen De La Rosa, EcoCAR 2 Director, serve as one of the F1 in Schools judges at this year’s contest!
Over 200 students attended the competition, representing a total of 22 countries – the biggest World Finals that F1 in Schools has ever staged. Student teams raced their cars down a 20 meter track, each hoping to beat the impressive 1.020-second record set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland in 2007. This year’s winning team, A1 Racing, consisted of Australian students from Pine Rivers State High School in Strathpine, Queensland and Phoenix P-12 Community College in Ballarat, Victoria. The second and third place teams, ALLEGIANCE RACING and Unlimited Acceleration, came from the United States and Germany, respectively.
“I’m always blown away by the professionalism, innovation, engineering capabilities and overall dedication shown by the World Finals teams,” said Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman of F1 in Schools. “This year there was an incredibly high standard of work and it made it very difficult to judge. A1 Racing shone out from their rivals and deserved all their success and the World Champions title.”
Just because the competition is over doesn’t mean the students will stop learning, though. The World Finals events will continue through the weekend, and culminate with the 2013 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix on Sunday at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. All student participants in the F1 in Schools World Finals will have the exciting opportunity to attend the race and see full-size F1 in action. Award-winning teams will also get the chance to go on an exclusive hosted paddock tour and see some of the world’s best F1 cars up-close.
“I was honored to serve as a one of the competition’s verbal presentation judges, which evaluates team’s engineering design concept as well as use of visual aids, presentation skills, innovation and collaboration with sponsors and industry experts,” said Kristen. “It was great to meet promising young STEM students from all over the world and see their passion for engineering that was ignited through this amazing program.”
While she was at the competition, Kristen was also able to talk with young contestants about collegiate-level advanced vehicle technology competitions (AVTCs) and build interest among the next generation of potential team members. Congratulations to A1 Racing and to all the teams that participated in this year’s competition – we hope to see you next year!