Fourways High in Sandton and Jabulani Technical High will represent South Africa at the ‘F1 in Schools’ World Championships in Malaysia in September this year where a number of countries will compete.
Both teams made it to the finals this weekend at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg in a hotly contested competition between eight schools.
The Mercury F1 Team from Fourways High comprises four girls and one boy and team Rip and Ride from Jabulani Technical High School has four boys and two girls, showing an increased trend in girls’ interest in design and engineering.
“The competition requires teams to design, manufacture and race their own miniature Formula One cars. The challenge has become well-known worldwide as an educational competition that actively promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It is a prestigious and fun event where the value of learning is showing exceptional results,’’ said Bez Sangari, CEO, Sangari Education.
Pieter du Plessis, F1 in Schools programme manager at Sangari Education said: “The programme develops a true entrepreneurial spirit in students who are required to prepare a business plan, do research and build links with industry to gain sponsorship. Students gain first-hand experience in marketing and accounting, needing to provide a complete portfolio as part of the competition.”
“What makes the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge different,” added Mr Sangari, “is that it entails a comprehensive and inclusive learning approach. Learners engage with subjects that improve their literacy, numeracy, sport and sports science, design and technology, art and design, textiles knowledge, STEM learning, computing, and business and enterprise.”
“The programme focuses on using PBL (Project based learning) as an approach where learners go through the physical experiences themselves. In their teams they are faced with challenges, victories, planning and obstacles that need to be overcome to succeed. This teaches true teamwork and develops communication along with leadership skills from a young age.”
Using 3D CAD software, students design a car based on the specifications set by the International Rules Committee and use Computational Fluid Dynamics Software (CFD) to analyse their car designs. Using 3D CAM software, the teams evaluate the most efficient machining strategy to make their cars.
Schools gain the benefit of the blended learning process, and the teams in the final are encouraged to obtain sponsorship. Opportunities exist for sponsors to display their logos on team cars while primary sponsors will have exposure on the F1 in Schools website and at the finals.