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MLC girls win in VIC Formula 1 STEM Challenge

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In teams of five, students use industry-standard software and equipment to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test and race miniature F1 cars capable of 80 km/h.

The development of long term employability skills is a key component, with students learning project management, business planning, marketing, presentation skills, social media management, collaboration and leadership. Along with their cars, students create their own websites, exhibition displays, team shirts and portfolios and participate in team interviews.

It is the first year of participation for MLC students with the College entering three teams made up of students in Years 7, 8 and 9; these teams were the sole girls-only teams in the competition.

“MLC is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage the girls and give them authentic learning experiences,” says Kevin Lugg, an Art and Design teacher at MLC and one of the instigators of the program at the College.

The three teams, Xeno Motion, Angle of Attack and Team Optimal, began work on their cars in February. The teams learned how to approach large corporations for sponsorship, and developed relationships with companies including Ford Australia, 3D Systems, Konica Minolta and Australia Post. 

“The students benefited from this program immensely,” Lugg says. “They have had the opportunity to learn through hands-on practical problem solving while gaining a variety of transferable skills. All the students have definitely stepped out of their comfort zone and worked as hard as they could, we were overwhelmed when Team Xeno Motion was announced as the winner.”

Team Xeno Motion will travel to Tasmania in March 2018 to compete in the National Championships, while the third and fourth place teams are regrouping and planning to enter in the professional class for 2018.

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