Teens sweep the board in F1 challenge
It’s not often racing cars feature on the curriculum – but for teenagers at a local secondary school, they’re a weekly highlight!
And in the recent F1 in Schools regional final, Kilmarnock Academy youngsters scooped a sensational four trophies to become the Scottish champions for creating and racing the best miniature cars.
The enthusiastic S3 pupils are now aiming for the UK title at the London finals on 14 March – and the chance to compete at the F1 in Schools world finals in Austin, Texas, in November, prior to the 2013 F1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.
The F1 Bloodhound Challenge calls for groups of pupils aged 11-14 to design, analyse, manufacture, test and then race miniature compressed air-powered balsa wood F1 cars. Teams of 3 – 6 students are judged on car speed, as well as supporting evidence of their design, verbal presentation and marketing display stand in ‘the pits’.
Kilmarnock Academy – under the guidance of technical teacher Tom Campbell – has entered the Bloodhound Challenge for the last three years – and won it every time.
Said Tom, who won Teacher of the Year in the Scottish Education Awards 2012: “This year, we entered four groups in the Scottish final at Dundee University.
“We won trophies for best team (Team Zeus), fastest car (Team Turbo), most innovative thinking (Team Elite) and overall first prize (Team Zeus). Team Zeus now goes forward to the final at the Excel Centre in London.
“We even beat our own Scottish record and came very close to the UK record. The pupils were fantastic, a real credit to the school”.
The fastest car they designed, powered by a CO2 canister, raced down a 20 metre track in 0.633 seconds, which equates to about 70mph.
The real Bloodhound SSC (super sonic car), which gives the challenge its name, is part of a project which aims to break the world Land Speed Record Recorded by achieving 1000 mph or Mach 1.4. A super sonic car travels faster than the speed of sound and in Bloodhound’s case, faster than a bullet. The Land Speed Record is currently held by Thrust SSC which stands at 763.035 mph.
Headteacher Bryan Paterson said: “Our pupils designed and built four fantastic cars and put in an amazing performance in the regional final. It would not be unfair to say we destroyed the opposition. We took four teams who came first, second, third and fourth!
“The whole project has been self-funded, with pupils approaching sponsors and raising hundreds of pounds. They took this very seriously indeed – and some were even in tears of joy when they won!
“Thanks to our sponsors – GE Caledonian, Arnold Clark, Doosan, Marlborough Granite and Poster Plus – for their contributions, which made our participation in the competition possible”.
Councillor Stephanie Primrose, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “Kilmarnock Academy has an excellent record in this tough challenge, competing against schools from all over Scotland to win these prestigious trophies.
“It’s a very innovative project, sparking students’ interest in science and engineering, as well as encouraging teamwork, leadership and problem solving skills.
“I wish the Kilmarnock Academy team every success at the national final in London”.
For further information, contact Elaine Scott on 01563 576013 or email email@example.com