Racing Through Schools

The F1 in schools (F1iS) project is probably the biggest and most successful school sports and STEM Educational Program in the world. But unfortunately it is coming to its annual finale this summer.
 

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More than 20 million students from 40 countries around the globe are involved in this worldwide project. Some of the most ingenious technologies have been discovered by youngsters during the course of the challenge. This year, three teams from the United Arab Emirates qualified for the global competition in Singapore after the stiff competition that was held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
 

F1iS is supported by the Formula One community — in particular Bernie Ecclestone at FOM. And the Formula One teams welcome students in the F1 paddock and in their factories. Team Xenith Racing, a strong contender from the UAE, is one of the qualifiers at the world finals to be held alongside the Singapore Grand Prix.
 

“The way each of these departments work together and collaborate to create the final product is largely responsible for determining the success of the team.”
 

The team consists of six passionate and talented youngsters between the ages of 15 and 17. Run as a mini-enterprise, the team is divided into various departments, including car designing and manufacturing, finance, marketing, resource management and graphic designing, which is typical of F1 in Schools teams.
 

Finance manager Tanish Jain says, “The F1 in Schools project is a multi-disciplinary challenge which involves a lot of components. We must deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature compressed air-powered balsa wood F1 cars. Not only does this challenge inspire us to learn about designing, it also helps us to learn important business skills as the team is just like running a small business. For instance, we need to look for sponsors to finance the team. For this, we have to talk to and meet various companies, create sponsorship proposals and presentations, and draft sponsorship contracts. Xenith has also hosted fundraiser events at the school. We also have to be constantly active on the social media platform to stay in touch with fans.”
 

On being asked about how the F1iS journey has helped him thus far, manufacturing engineer Atree Ghosh says, “Growth is the only word I can think of in terms of what the F1 in Schools journey has done for me so far. The kind of exposure that students receive through this project is truly unmatched by any other.”
 

“F1iS has transformed our knowledge about new technological innovations and the functioning of the business world”, adds Jain.
 

Team management is another important aspect of the project, with each team member running different departments. The way each of these departments work together and collaborate to create the final product is largely responsible for determining the success of the team.
 

The team has faced a tough journey, braving challenges along the way. But this is not the end. The most testing part is yet to be faced at the F1 in Schools World Finals in Singapore this September, which will see the best teams from over 40 countries compete for the World Champion title.
 

“Thousands of hours of hard work have been put into this project. But holding the World Champions trophy at the end of this will make every second worth it”, beams Jain confidently.
 

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