Full throttle for school tech challenge

9 Oct 2007

Irish students are invited to design, build and actually race the car of the future in the form of a CO2-powered Formula 1 racing car as the F1 in Schools Challenge kicked off today.

The Minister for Education Mary Hannifin met with budding engineers and designers from St Aidan’s CBS in Whitehall and Scoil Iosagain in Stillorgan to launch the 2007/2008 season just a few weeks after two new subjects were introduced at leaving cert level: Design and Communication Graphics and Technology.

Speaking at the launch, Hannifin said that it is vital to create sufficient numbers of graduates with advanced technical skills.

“The F1 in Schools Challenge can help encourage the uptake of the new leaving cert technology subjects and give students a practical insight into some of the varied and exciting career options that science, engineering and technology present.”

Last year over 120 schools competed at regional and national finals combined, from both the junior and leaving certificate levels.

Team Gear Force, the 2007 winning team from Tipperary won a trip to the Honda Racing F1 Team headquarters as part of the prize and will go on to the world championships in Malaysia in spring of next year.

Liam Murphy, the assistant national coordinator with t4, which designed the new LC subjects said: “The F1 in Schools Challenge allows students to gain experiences in research, presentation, sketching, design and solid modeling, which mirror many of the skills needed in the new leaving certificate technology subjects.”

By Marie Boran