STARTING GRID FOR LEARNING - THE STUDENT GRAND PRIX
The race is on for students to design their own Formula 1 racing car, a national challenge introduced by Denford Limited to promote the future of CAD/CAM design in schools. The National Finals of the
Design, Make and Race motor car competition will be held at the BETT 2002 Exhibition to enable students to embrace vocational engineering skills.
David Blunkett had announced in 2000 that some secondary schools will be allowed to specialise in teaching manufacturing and engineering in an attempt to introduce pupils to the skills needed to make a career in more traditional industries. He was responding to the final report of the National Skills Task Force, which identified a series of technical skills gaps afflicting industry. BETT 2002 is highlighting this need with the continuation of the Future Skills Feature in the National Hall, Olympia, which illustrates the spectrum of skills required for automotive engineering past, present and future.
Denford together with Jaguar Cars Ltd, who are sponsoring the challenge, launched a National Competition for pupils to design a Formula 1 Racing Car. An exciting learning experience aiming to motivate engineering skills in students and inspire teachers in a fun and positive way. From a successful pilot scheme launched by Denford in July 1999 for LEA, for all schools to design, make and race The Car of the Future, powered by CO² cylinders, the idea has now grown to become a national challenge and has been given the official title 'F1 in Schools.'
Andrew Denford, Chief Executive of Denford, explains “The challenge gives students a practical, interactive and educational experience that encourages young people to look at engineering and manufacturing as an exciting career. The competition follows a similar design process to the real F1 cars and gives students a flavour of automotive engineering and manufacture. Through the pilot run we have already seen standards rise, through this unique use of ICT in the National Curriculum.”
The process involved in the design and build of the students' Formula 1 car, satisfies several difficult parts of the National Curriculum and offers the opportunity to gain key skills for GNVQ's, NVQ's and A Level courses, highlighting the educational value of Denford's CAD/CAM Teaching Initiative.
The National Finals are being held in the heart of the Future Skills Feature, where the competition will be launched publicly, giving pupils an opportunity to race their customised Grand Prix entries on a 30 metre track and allowing teachers to register for the challenge.
Teachers can also register at the official website address www.F1inschools.com and on the TC Trust website. There will be a mail shot to all schools with pro/DESKTOP or a Denford MicroRouter and TC Trust registered schools.
Finalists from each regional final held during 2001 have been invited to attend the Grand Final at BETT 2002 completing an inspirational challenge allowing students and teachers to practically embrace the importance of ICT learning.
For further information about BETT 2002, free tickets, seminar programme and information about subsidised travel offers see the relevant web pages.