University drives ahead with F1 in Schools challenge

Engineering experts from Aston University are supporting secondary school students in the West Midlands to give them the skills they need to take part in an educational experience based around Formula 1 motor racing.

The STEM programme, F1 in Schools, which has been running for 22 years, has teamed up this year with lecturers and technical staff from Aston University’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences to create a dedicated academy for young people in the region.

Spanning age ranges of 9 to 19, the aim of F1 in Schools is to help change the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and maths 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.

The Aston University outreach programme will allow secondary school aged pupils in the West Midlands to be supported with expert mentoring, design, manufacturing and testing of air powered cars.

These will then be entered into regional, national and even world finals.

Students will also have the chance to use test equipment, such as the Air Trace Visualisation System and F1 Race Track, allowing them to test the speed and performance of their finished cars.

Mark Wemyss-Holden, F1 in Schools’ UK national project manager, said: “It’s hugely exciting to welcome Aston University to the F1 in Schools family as a fully-equipped F1 in Schools Academy.

“With its reach and influence, we hope to be able to generate even more awareness for the competition in the West Midlands and beyond, as well as offer valuable support and mentoring for teachers and students through the Academy structure.

“Who knows, with a rich engineering history and a wealth of talent in the West Midlands, maybe Aston University can uncover and support the future UK and world champions?”

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