F1 in Schools is the largest technology competition in the world, and one of the most comprehensive training programs to enhance the interest of students for Natural Sciences, New Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics (see STEM Education).
Stages of implementation
In F1 in Schools students work in groups of 3-6 members with specific responsibilities and roles, such as team leader, F1 model designer, F1 model manufacturer, graphic designer, marketing & communication manager, resource manager, website and social networking tools planning and development officer. Each team prepares a comprehensive plan of actions and resource management and seeks supporters of their effort. F1 in Schools encourages students to learn actively and to cooperate with educational institutions and organizations from the world of business.
Students design on PCs a miniature racing car of Formula 1, using three-dimensional 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, suitable for object design. The software is granted free to students. Students evaluate the optimal technological solution to build a miniature Formula 1 car from special balsa wood, using three-dimensional 3D CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture) software, suitable for object construction. Students, with a virtual wind tunnel on the PC, monitor aerodynamic resistance of their team’s F1 car, using specialized software simulation Fluid CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). The software is too free for the students. The students are evaluated for:
- Their final work (portfolio) and other elements on the design & construction of the F1 model of their team, which will be presented on the day of the games.
- The oral presentation and exhibition stand in the “pits” the day of the games.
- The speed of their team’s F1 car.
As part of the competition
- Students design and build a miniature racing Formula 1 car from balsa wood using CAD / CAM tools.
- Vehicles are powered with CO2 cartridges at a speed of about 60-70 km/h on a straight racetrack of 24m length. The cars are connected with the track with a thin thread.
- The track has two lanes so that two cars can compete simultaneously.
Using sensors and proper equipment, car times are measured from the start until the car passes the finish line of the track, as well as the students’ reaction times to start. With the program “F1 in Schools”, students are trained with fun on topics such as:
- Physics and various applications,
- New Technologies of Information and Communications,
- Engineering Construction,
- Applied Mathematics.
At the same time, they understand concepts such as:
- Object Aerodynamics,
- Design and Production of Industrial Products,
- Mechanics of Materials,
- Analysis of Results
- Audit Testing.
More importantly, however, students learn:
- to develop communication skills together,
- to function as a group,
- to design and implement business plans,
- to manage projects,
- to understand marketing and promotion of products and the idea of Business,
- to understand the concept of sponsorship, communication,
- to cooperate with various institutions from business and industry,
- to cooperate with universities and technical colleges in their area.