F1 in Schools is the only global multi-disciplinary challenge in which teams of students aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyze, manufacture, test, and race miniature compressed air powered balsa wood F1 cars. The challenge inspires students to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy. Applying them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way. We had the opportunity to speak to Impulse DXB, a team of five students from the Repton School of Dubai. These young students are representing the U.A.E in the World Finals this October in Austin, Texas. Three words come to mind when describing these bright students: resourceful, passionate and determined.
When asked what makes their team unique at the world final they said, “We all come from different ethnic backgrounds and are truly international and collaborative. We each have different types of skill sets that we brought together and have forged a bond that no other team can compare to and think of each other as far more than friends.” It is also important to note they are currently the youngest team ever to represent the UAE and compete in the world finals. The team is also lead by Maryam Al Ketbi who is the Emirate’s first female national to lead a F1 School team.
Impulse DXB notes the biggest challenge has been to secure sponsors and to raise large amounts of funds to cover the travel expenses while working on all completing all the necessary work deadlines over different time zones. Impulse DXB has managed to score companies such as Al Tayer Motors, Taste of Italy, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, NSCC International, Burger Fuel and 3D Vinci! The team expects to perform well based on their previous track record, and prove the feasibility of their car theory and design despite heavy competition. The group also has an internal rivalry regarding their favourite drivers including; Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg. The group urges students to participate in F1 for Schools as they feel it has personally benefitted them in so many ways .They have learnt real life experience in executing tasks such as building relationships with sponsors, managing project deadlines, understanding the value of time, relationships and managing their finances.
From left to right: Maryam Alketbi, 13 ; Tiana Bushnaq, 12; Taha Gokal, 13; Khaya Ngoma, 13; Karim Farekh, 12