A team of five students from Ysgol Botwnnog in Gwynedd, North Wales have shown how, through dedication, hard work and an eye for detail, they have designed, made, tested and raced a model Formula One car which could be a world beater! Having taken part in the ‘F1 in Schools’ Challenge they are this year’s winners in Wales, and are now set to take on teams from across the world in Malaysia in September this year!
‘Formula 1 in Schools’ is an annual international competition in which students from the ages of 11-19 work together to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race miniature compressed air powered balsa wood Formula 1 cars. Using the latest CAD/CAM software the students attempt to design a car which will be raced on a 20m long track in the fastest time – the current record being just over one second! In addition the students are required to prepare a business plan, develop a budget, raise sponsorship and are encouraged to collaborate with industry and forge business links.
Having negotiated sponsorship from local companies, Ysgol Botwnnog’s Tim Fflam were able to acquire a CNC Router machine to help manufacture their model car and, following extensive development work and trialling, became North Wales champions at the Regional Final in Bangor in December 2010. They also won an award for the Best Sponsorship and Marketing, having their own corporate image, website, and Facebook and Twitter presence!
Their success at the regional level led them to the UK National Finals at ‘Big Bang’ which was held at the ICC London Excel Centre in March 2011 where they triumphed as the best team from Wales in the F1 class, and have now won through to the World Finals this September!
The F1 in Schools project is designed to help young people develop an informed view about careers in engineering, science, technology and marketing, and these students from Ysgol Botwnnog have certainly experienced all of this and more! In taking part in this activity the team members have had first-hand experience of using some of the latest CAD software and machinery, and have had an insight into the development of business plans and the world of commerce and marketing.
As the fastest Welsh team (and second in the UK overall), Tim Fflam have now been invited to take part in the World Finals in Malaysia in September 2011! Watch this space…but don’t blink or you’ll miss it!
Thanks to Ysgol Botwnnog and See Science for preparing this case study.
In September 2011, Ysgol Botwnnog travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to participate in the 2011 F1 in Schools World Finals. Fflam won the award for Best Sponsorship and Marketing and received the Marussia Virgin Racing trophy. F1 in Schools described the teams approach to sponsorship and marketing as “innovative”.