The team of four students from the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) Academy for Young Engineers took home four trophies from the Central England final of the F1 in Schools competition. The event, which took place at Shireland Collegiate Academy in Birmingham, saw the team take first place in the categories of Fastest Car, Best Engineered Car and the Innovation Award, as well as winning first place overall.
F1 in Schools runs across 44 countries and is open to entrants aged from 9 to 19. The competition aims to change perceptions of STEM subjects by creating a fun learning environment for young people to develop their understanding of careers in engineering, science, marketing and technology.
The students use CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and race miniature compressed air powered balsa wood F1 cars.
The WMG team is sponsored by Rugby based manufacturer Automotive Insulations (AI), part of the Autins Group. AI develop and manufacture thermal and acoustic insulation materials and components for the automotive industry.
“It’s important to support projects and organisations which develop key skills that the manufacturing and engineering industries need to maintain growth and their position in the global market,” comments Jim Griffin, CEO at the Autins Group. “We have a reputation in the UK for developing new technologies and the next generation of engineers will play a vital role in this. In fact, many of these young people will probably be working with technologies that haven’t even been invented yet.”
The WMG team will now go forward to the national final, which takes place at Silverstone over two days in April. They will compete against finalists from the other nine regions.
As an employer partner, Autins works with the Academy in a variety of ways, from providing sound insulating panels for the engineering hall and public areas, to helping recruit staff. The company is also the first partner employer to take a WMG Academy student as an apprentice.
WMG Academy for Young Engineers aims to provide a more practical, hands on approach to education by putting real, business-focused problems and challenges at the centre of the curriculum. The idea is to better prepare students for the practical demands of the world of work and further/higher education.