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F1 in schools goes to western Sydney

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TAFE NSW Mount Druitt hosted 40 students from across Western Sydney to compete in the Greater Western Sydney Regional F1 in Schools STEM Challenge.

The world’s foremost student competition for science, technology, engineering and mathematics saw 34 teams from 12 local schools take on the challenge set by Re-Engineering Australia of developing the world’s fastest miniature F1 car.

Held in TAFE NSW Mount Druitt’s specialist CAD design lab, the multifacet challenge provided students with access to real-world technology like 3D CAD/CAM/CAE engineering design software and taught them about coding, computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis.

TAFE NSW Engineering teacher, Matthew Snape said, “Between 2013 and 2015, employment in STEM occupations grew by 16.5%, which is 1.6 times higher than the growth rate in non-STEM jobs.

“The F1 in Schools STEM Challenge gives students the opportunity to learn a broad range of real-world skills as well as exposing them to current and relevant industry technology.

“Many students and parents don’t always have information about potential STEM careers and F1 in Schools STEM Challenge allows them to not just see what is out there, but to actually experience it first hand.”

Much more than building a car, the challenge aims to develop student’s skills in problem solving, project management, communications, presentation, teamwork, innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurialism, aiding in the transition through high school.

Re-Engineering Australia Founder and CEO, Michael Myers said, “The F1 in School STEM Challenge is one of the largest STEM programs in the world and Australia has approximately 22,000 students involved with the competition each year.

“The program mimicks the world of a Formula One team and gets the groups of students to follow a path of engineering and manufacturing disciplines getting them to design, analyse, test, make and race. It’s wonderful to have the event organised by TAFE NSW Mount Druitt as it shows students the potential of further study in these areas.”

Separated into three classes, Cadet, Development and Professional, students were judged on their proficiency in everything from their car’s design to their marketing presentation.

The winners

Cadet Class
1st Place, Plumpton High School, Hybrid High Racing

Cadet Class 2nd Place, Parramatta Marist High School, Zeus

Cadet Class 3rd Place, St Marks Catholic High School, Smoking Bullets

Development Class
1st Place, Blue Mountains Grammar School, Awaken

Development Class 2nd Place, Penrith Christian School, Unity

Development Class 3rd Place, Parramatta Marist High School, Super Sonic

Professional Class
1st Place, Parramatta Marist High School, Reboot

Professional Class 2nd Place, Parramatta Marist High School, Atlas

Professional Class 3rd Place, Pacific Hills Christian School, Frontier Racing

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