The F1 in Schools 2018 race season is officially underway and the first district race saw nine teams representing seven schools from in and around Gauteng in action at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg.
The competition, now in its second season, attracted learners between the ages of 11 and 17 from different primary and high schools, all in search for their spot to represent South Africa at the World Finals to be held in 2018.
There were 9 teams adding up to 45 learners in attendance representing schools from Gauteng West and Tswane North. The schools that participated were Lodirile Secondary, HTS Nic Diederichs, Atholang Primary school, Kid Maponya Primay, Sandile Primary, Mohlakano Primary and Siyokhela Junior Secondary.
First place winners were Team Agile Tech Motors from HTS Diedericks in Krugersdorp. They won the best engineered car; best enterprise and marketing as well as best presentation prize. Second and third places went to teams Schnell Voiture and MX also from HTS Diedericks school.
The F1 in Schools challenge involves learners designing an F1 car using CAD software and then manufacturing it on a CNC machine before racing it on a 20 metre dedicated race track. The current world record is just under one second.
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 manufacture their cars.
Pieter du Plessis, F1 in Schools programme manager at Sangari Education, the company responsible for bringing the challenge in South Africa said: "At first it was a challenge getting both learner's and teachers to buy into the concept of designing and racing a miniature F1 car. But the concept has now caught on and interest is growing rapidly."
"F1 in Schools is literally STEM education in action. However, it's not just about designing the car and then racing it, there are other intricacies involved in the process including marketing, sponsorship and securing funding for the teams which the learners have to do themselves. Teacher involvement is critical for learners, who need both emotional and physical support," he said.
The next race will take place on 16 September at Sci-Bono. Teams wishing to be part of this prestigious competition can register on the website at: www.sangari.co.za or contact Pieter on +27 11 466-1440.