Year 10 students Nicholas Hayes, Finley Hastie, Zach Burgess and Matthew Foster have spent the past two weeks in Abu Dhabi, competing at the World Championships of the Formula 1 In Schools Competition.
Earlier this year the team - Thurst Vector - competed at the National Finals in the Development Class. In winning their Final, they were then partnered with a team from the USA and set about preparing for the World Championships, in the Professional Class. This immeidately put the boys on a steep learning curve, as the rules of the competition were much more stringent, and the specifications for the cars very different from the National Development Class. They were now merged with a team called Celeritas, from Georgia and were rebranded with a new team name: Paradoxum.
In the boys' own words: "Little did we know when we started out how difficult this competition would be, how much we would learn, and what an incredible life experience it would be for us all.
We have learned so much, way beyond what classroom lessons could have possibly taught us.
Not just the disciplines of engineering, design, CAD, manufacturing, marketing, fundraising, presentation and team work skills; [we also] learned how to think on our feet, how to get the best of the team’s skills, how to be resilient, ...how to think big, dream big, and do what we thought was unimaginable.
The competition was stiff. 55 of the best teams from around the world were there, many of whom were older, and had made multiple attempts to get this far in the Professional Class competition. We didn't do as well as we had hoped in the main racing events, but we managed to be seeded 14th in the knock out competition. We did well in the scrutineering (adherence to car regulations) getting 100/110 [and] reasonably well in the judging interviews and presentations. It all came down to the final presentation night. In the end we achieved the award for Best Digital Media [and] our final placement amongst the teams was 35th out of 55."
The team has created a video of their journey from the very first regional competition round to the World Championships which can be viewed here.