F1 IN SCHOOLS PROJECT LAUNCHED IN QATAR
The cross-curricular F1 in Schools project was launched in Qatar yesterday at the Doha Montessori British School, where children and potential sponsors were given an overview and demonstration of the Formula One team building project concept.
F1 in Schools is a team exercise for children as young as five, going up to 19 years of age who are eligible for a university scholarship grand prize. The objective is to develop a mini-racing team, with the students effectively forming their own mock-company. Over a set period of time the teams will face five challenges: Raising a budget, designing a team brand and
designing a car. The best team from each school will compete in a national event to be organised in Qatar. The best Qatari team will then compete in a world event, from which the winners will receive a four-year scholarship to university, primarily for engineering. Miniature gas-powered balsa wood F1 cars will be designed, analysed, manufactured, and tested, with students using industry CAD/CAM design software. The teams will also have to develop a business plan, team presentation and team display to complete the challenge successfully.
Doha Montessori are hosting the project in Qatar as they have the track and the equipment to make the cars, but schools from across Qatar are invited to take part in the F1 in Schools competition.
Donald Sankey, F1 in Schools Manager based at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, said: “Predominantly, we’re out to promote the business of motor sport, and to say to these children that it’s more than about racing a fast car – it includes finance, science, engineering, physics – all of those things.”
Sankey said that not only were the junior competitors engaged in a fun activity, but they also recognised the strong curricular links through maths and science, which teachers are tapping into.
Mihika Basu, a Year 12 student at Doha Montessori, said that students were already enthusiastic about the project, and the fact that they get to choose the teammates they work with made the competition and collaboration more exciting. Doha Montessori was introduced to the concept last year, and the students had been gearing up for the official launch yesterday. Basu said that the popularity of the project has grown from just a few students expressing interest initially to dozens of students showing up for the presentation by project manager Sankey. Basu said that while the project predominantly appealed to boys, there are a number of girls participating as well across all age levels. Around 125 schools across the Gulf region are currently participating in the F1 in Schools project.
F1 in Schools is approved by Bernie Eccleston, CEO Formula One Management, who considers it to be the breeding ground for the Formula One industry.