I went to judge the F1 In Schools State Championships in Pennsylvania. I was delighted to see the skills and talent in so many of todays students.
The Formula One Technology Challenge involves a five-step process that meets the standards for technological literacy, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (www.nctm.org) and the National Science Teachers Association (www.nsta.org). The five steps are design, analyze, make, test, and race. The Formula One Technology Challenge was to create and build a balsa racer that meets demanding specifications using CAD software, CAM software, CNC milling, testing for aerodynamics (virtual or actual). Competitors had to create documentation, make a verbal presentation, and of course, race their cars. Each group was also evaluated on their marketing, branding and sponsorship efforts as well.
Sixteen teams amounting to almost 100 students were on site in this competition. Five teams qualified to go to the National Championships- Pine Richland High School, Predator Racing, earned the State Champion title. Elizabethtown Middle school (2nd) Ninja’s and Donegal Middle School (3rd) Twisters also earned their trip to the Nationals. Manheim High School (2nd) PA Hardcore and North Lebanon High School (3rd) (AeroBreakerz) also qualified for the U.S. National competition.
Major industry support included Denford Products (www.hitechinc.us/denford—cadcamcnc.html); 484 Consulting, LLC, whose CEO, Paul Koontz, actually chaired the Pennsylvania State Championships. HITechinc (www.hitechinc.us) sponsored the state event for Pennsylvania and their president, Brian Haskell coordinated the event. Synergis (www.synergis.com/home), the Autodesk software distributor provided $1500 in award monies. Their Tim Varner lead the engineering evaluations of the submissions.
Looking for skills and talent? What can you do to help your local schools cultivate your local talent? These companies and schools are working together through F1 in Schools Challenge to make a difference for their communities.