F1 in Schools is an international STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) competition for students (aged 11–19), in which groups of 3–6 students have to design and manufacture a miniature car out of the official F1 Model Block using CAD/CAM design tools. The cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a track by a tether line. They are timed from the moment they are launched to when they pass the finish line by a computer.
The cars have to follow extensive regulations, in a similar fashion to Formula 1 (e.g. the wheels of the car must be in contact with the track at all times). The cars are raced on a 20m long track with two lanes, to allow two cars to be raced simultaneously. Modern computer software is used to analyse and improve the race track behaviour of our car. For example, CFD-Software (Computed Fluid Dynamics) enables the teams to analyse the aerodynamics of their cars and reduce drag.
The competition is currently operational in over 40 countries. The competition was first introduced in the UK in 1999. The competition's aim is to introduce younger people to engineering in a more fun environment. The competition is held annually, with Regional and National Finals. The overall winners of the National Finals are invited to compete at the World Finals, which are held at a different location each year, usually held in conjunction with a Formula One Grand Prix.
For more information visit the official "F1 in schools" Website:
Aspects of the competition
Specifications judging is a detailed inspection process where the race car is assessed for compliance with the F1 in Schools Technical Regulations.
The scheduled engineering judging focuses on the CAD data organisation, technical drawing and 3D Render. Furthermore, the manufacturing quality and the assembly of the car gets judged.
Verbal presentation judging
In advance of the competition, teams prepare a timed verbal presentation to present to a panel of judges, outlining their project. The presentation focuses on communication, teamwork and car innovation.
Portfolio & Pit Display Judging
Each team of students is required to produce an enterprise portfolio, engineering portfolio as well as a pit display. The portfolios are A3 size and should contain information about the team, their car design and manufacturing process, marketing techniques, project management, teamwork and team identity. Teams are given an area to set up a pit display which is judged alongside their design portfolio by a panel of judges.