‘F1 in Schools’ is a worldwide competition where teams of 3-5 people design and manufacture small balsa wood cars to be propelled by a CO2 gas filled canister along a 20 metre straight track. The cars are designed in CAD software programs such as Pro-Engineer, tested in wind tunnels, and manufactured using CNC milling machines.
Besides the car racing, the other areas of the competition that are judged which include engineering design, verbal presentation, portfolio, pit area display, industry collaboration and team marketing. Engineering involves a discussion with judges about their original, innovative and aerodynamically fast engineering design cars. The verbal presentation is a prepared presentation about their team, their innovation, their collaboration and the learning experiences the competition has granted them. The pit area is a small, expo-style booth on show where teams market the car, team and sponsors. Additionally, teams have to document a portfolio on their progress throughout the competition.
‘F1 in schools’ is a strong science, mathematics, technology and engineering based competition, and is an excellent competition for students interested in engineering as a career. In some schools, this competition can be a subject choice, but Super Sonic Speed took this as an extracurricular activity. To represent Australia, teams have to compete successfully at regional, state and national levels before going to world.
Super Sonic Speed is an F1 in schools team from Merewether High School, an academically selective school for gifted and talented students near Newcastle, NSW. In 2012, the team comprised of three year nine boys – all of which had never competed before. The three boys – Joshua Beverley (centre), Muhammed Al-Mudafer (left) and Patrick Wells all had their own inspirations for competing in the F1 in schools competition, and they all learned valuable life skills that will use for the rest of their lives.
Super Sonic Speed 2012 achieved excellent results. At the Regional finals pro-junior level of the competition, Super Sonic Speed placed first in 6 of the 7 categories, including: Fastest Car (1.170s), Best Engineered Design, Best Pit Area, Best Portfolio, Outstanding Industry Collaboration and Best Team Marketing; to place first overall. Super Sonic Speed, with their very dominant performance, was invited to represent Newcastle and the Hunter at the State competition. At NSW State level Super Sonic Speed placed 3rd, coming 2nd in Fastest Car (1.194s), Best Portfolio and Best Pit Display categories.
Super Sonic Speed competed in the F1 in schools competition in 2013 aiming for even greater success. Joshua and Muhammed competed again along with three new members – Daniel Bradley (far left), Aidan Gentle (right) and Nabil Khan (far left).
Super Sonic Speed 2013 achieved even greater success, placing first at the NSW State Finals, topping the scores in Best Engineered Design, Best Portfolio and the Innovation Award. With this successful performance, Super Sonic Speed went on to compete at the 2014 Australian National Finals.
The National Finals was a great experience for the whole team – we saw past Australian F1 in Schools representatives with their car, pit area and portfolios on show. Super Sonic Speed placed 3rd overall (beaten by 2nd place by only 3 points), with a first in Fastest Car (1.033s), Best Pit Area, and Knockout Champions. They also scored a podium finish in many other categories: Grand Prix Race Award, Best Portfolio, Best Team Marketing, Outstanding Industry Collaboration and Most Energy Efficient Design.
After their success at the Australian National Finals, Super Sonic Speed have been invited to represent Australia at the 2014 F1 in Schools World Finals at Abu Dhabi as part of an internal collaboration team. Super Sonic Speed have joined forces with 2nd placed Celeritas from Barker College in Hornsby to take on the World Finals in November this year. The new team is named Southern Cross F1 and comprises of six members – Joshua Beverley, Muhammed Al-Mudafer and Daniel Bradley from Super Sonic Speed and Viran Weerasekera, Andrew Simpson and Patrick Smart from Celeritas. Patrick Wells returns as an affiliate member for Southern Cross F1. Together, the two teams achieved a podium finish in every category of the competition at the Australian National Finals.
If you would like to support Southern Cross F1 in our bid to become F1 in Schools World Champions, please contact Joshua Beverley at [email protected].
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