F1 in Schools has expanded its programme into Qatar.
Doha British School is the hub for F1 in Schools in Qatar and have taken on the programme for its students, with a team selected from within the school to represent the country at the F1 in Schools World Finals later this year.
Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman attended the launch event earlier this month. He welcomed Qatar to F1 in Schools saying, “We are delighted that Doha British School has introduced F1 in Schools for its students and we hope that they enjoy taking on the challenge to create a scale-model F1 car. I am sure it will be very successful and that teachers will quickly appreciate the value of the programme in encouraging students to study the STEM subjects.”
Of F1 in Schools expansion in Qatar Denford adds, “Williams has a strong presence in Qatar with its Williams Technology Centre, at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, which has been established to develop and commercialise technologies that have their origins in F1. They are also actively supporting education in Qatar in a variety of ways including mentoring final year student engineering teams, running multiple summer internship programmes to expose students to rapid engineering culture, and the hiring of local graduates, so it was an ideal opportunity for us to work with them to introduce F1 in Schools into the country. We have kicked off the programme in one school, but will gradually expand to others as the programme increases its profile and we expose the learning opportunities of F1 in Schools to the educational sector in Qatar.”
Williams is a leading Formula One team and advanced engineering company. Founded in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head, Williams is one of the world’s most successful Formula One team’s and one of the most recognised names in global sport, winning 114 Grand Prix and 16 Formula One World Championship titles.
Alex Burns, Chief Executive Officer of Williams, adds, “We are pleased to be supporting F1 in Schools for its introduction into Qatar. This Formula One linked educational programme is a great way to engage with young students and promote the opportunities for careers in engineering, so it is a very good fit withour own efforts to promote the study of STEM subjects in schools. We hope that in years to come we will see some of the participants working with us.”
Kevin Bloomer, Design Technology and Subject Leader at Doha British School, and F1 in Schools Qatar Coordinator, said the project was a fantastic opportunity for students to develop their cross-curricular skills. “They make a small model of the car they later use at the track, create a team identity and branding, and find sponsors,” said the teacher.
Fawaz Mahadik, a 12-year-old student from India, is a member of one of the Doha British School teams. “At first I was interested in the programme, especially by the fact that we could go to Austin. Now I have learned a lot about engineering and how the cars work,” said the pupil.
This global educational initiative operates in over 40 countries and aims to help change perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula 1, science, marketing and technology.
Williams is also expanding its business into new areas, creating an Advanced Engineering division to adapt Formula One based technology for a range of commercial applications in the areas of energy efficiency, road safety and education.
F1 in Schools challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm long scale model built from a block of balsa wood and powered by a compressed air cylinder. Each team of between three and six students creates a ‘pit’ display and showcases their work in developing their race car, with a verbal and written presentation for the judges. The teams then race their model car on a specially designed 20 metre test track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second. The Challenge, in its thirteenth year, was introduced to the UK in 2000 and since this time has expanded to over 40 countries, reaching over 20 million students taking part around the globe.
F1 in Schools will stage its ninth World Finals event in Austin, Texas, next year, alongside the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX to be held at Circuit of The Americas in November. It will be the first time that the F1 in Schools World Finals will have been held in the United States, with the 2012 event having taken place at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
Each of the National Champions is invited to compete at the World Finals and the 2nd and 3rd podium place teams are invited to participate by forming collaboration teams, linking with the runner-up teams from another country. The collaboration teams communicate by virtual technologies such as CISCO WebEx before finally meeting each other for the first time when they arrive at the World Finals.
The Finals are held over the course of three days with the teams brought together for the biggest challenge of their young life, competing for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy and coveted Automotive and Motorsport Engineering scholarships at City University London.
source: Alison Hill