Students get behind the wheel with F1

22 Apr 2008

The National F1 in Schools champions title for 2008 went to Team Koni Kats from St David’s School in Greystones, Wicklow following regional finals which were carried out in various institutes of technology around the country throughout February and March

The F1 in Schools, sponsored by Honda and organised by the Irish Computer Society, is a competition for school children aged between 10 and 18 that challenges them to learn new science, engineering and technology skills by designing, building and racing their own CO2-powered model car.

The winning team, comprised of Sean Cleary, Eoin O’Connell and Conor Daly (pictured), beat 27 finalist teams from around the country to get the national title. They will go on to represent Ireland in the 2009 World Championships, which are being held in the spring of 2009.

A trip to the Honda Formula 1 Operations Centre in the UK will also be on the cards, and the overall winners will get €5,000 in prize money.

Frank Kennedy, sales and marketing director of Universal Honda, described as “mind-blowing” the dedication of both teachers and students to the competition.

“The high standards attained give us great confidence for the future development of science and technology in Ireland,” he said.

Kennedy said he sees the F1 competition as an ideal way to improve the technological design skills of students involved. All the participating teams have been perfecting their designs, portfolios and presentation skills since competing in the regional finals last February.

“Using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create virtual 3D-models of their cars, the teams collaborated with third level ‘F1 Make Centres’ on their manufacture. The colleges used their special milling equipment to convert the designs into real model F1 racers.”

This is the second year Ireland has been involved in the F1 in Schools challenge. Some 600 students from 150 second-level schools in 22 counties entered the competition.

By Marie Boran

Pictured from the left: Sean Cleary, team captain, Eoin O’Connell and Conor Daly – Team Koni Kats crowned 2008 Honda Powered F1 in Schools Champions