The Finals were held in Launceston, Tasmania, from 5th to 9th March.
Described as “the largest and most successful school-based STEM program in the world”, the F1 in Schools competition “challenges and inspires students to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, graphics, marketing, leadership and teamwork, media skills and financial strategy.”
In addition to delivering engineering presentations for both computer-aided design and manufacturing processes, the students conduct marketing interviews at their pit booths and give verbal presentations for their team vision and enterprise.
Year 10 Design & Technology students Peter Young, Balint Boda, William Hedges, Finnian O’Connor and Rohan Grant-Dawes formed their team - Clutch Control – and developed two F1 model cars in 2017, successfully winning through regional and State finals to earn their place in the National finals. A win at the national level would qualify a team to represent Australia in an international competition.
Clutch Control commenced their 3-day competition with their Engineering CAD presentation, which ran flawlessly due to their meticulous preparation. They then delivered a Marketing Presentation at their trade display, before the cars hit the track in the afternoon. Their cars ran well and the recorded times kept them in touch with the leaders.
Day 2 included their Engineering CAM interview and a verbal presentation, following which the cars were back on the track. At the end of the Reaction Time racing, BMGS was placed 5th in an 11-team field.
A bonus points knockout tournament rounded out the second day of competition. The team managed to rectify a front wing alignment issue, transforming their car into the fastest in the class. Their adjustments catapulted the team into the final race series. Winning the knock out round secured one of the awards, but it was not until the final day of competition that the team learned the value of their bonus points, when they were awarded 3rd place overall. Clutch Control was also awarded Best Verbal Presentation and the Innovation Award. The national championship team this year was Ignite Racing from Haileybury (VIC), with another Victorian team, Perspective from Brighton Secondary School, finishing second.
Technology teacher, Mr. Michael Laws, who was team co-ordinator, teaches STEM classes for students in Years 1 to 12. On the team’s success, Mr. Laws commented, "I am extremely proud of this team. The way they worked together to overcome adversity was impressive, as were the innovative solutions they developed for the project elements. They have earned this fantastic result and their futures are very bright."
This is the third time in just three years that a BMGS team has qualified for the State Finals of this prestigious competition; and the first team to qualify for the national finals. This competition for Design & Technology students, together with co-curricular activities such as Robotics, Coding and Programming endorse Blue Mountains Grammar School’s focus on delivering quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related subjects in an exciting and innovative way.