A TEAM FROM WOBURN C.I. HAS WON THE F1 IN SCHOOLS CANADIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a fascinating extra-curricular program in some schools across Canada in which kids start from scratch and build a Formula One racing team.
Called F1 in Schools, it’s a world-wide program, currently involving nearly 30 countries, that is funded by Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and the other nine Formula One teams in which students between the ages of 11 and 18 research, design, build, market and race F1 model cars.
The Bernie Ecclestone Trophy is the big prize and Bernie himself is usually on hand to award it at the world finals.
Now, the rules say the students - there can be anywhere from three to six per team - have to design and build an F1-model racer with the help of a computer-aided design (CAD) program. The challenge is to construct a 1/20th-scale model F1 car out of lightweight balsa wood to be powered by a CO-2 cartridge.
But that's not all. Although the name of the game is to build the fastest car, teams are also judged on their business plan and budget, as well as their sponsorship and marketing programs. The real fun, though, is in the racing. Cars race side-by-side along a 20-metre-long track.
Now, a little over a week ago — on Wed., April 27, to be exact — the Canadian finals were held at the Ontario Science Centre and it is my pleasure to announce that a team from Woburn C.I. in Scarborough was the winner. Second-place overall went to a team from Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in Brandon, Man., and third place went to the team from North York’s Victoria Park C.I.
Woburn will now represent Canada at the world finals in London (I believe; this year’s world finals, in which the 2010 national champions will compete, will be held in September in Abu Dhabi). Wherever, it’s a nice trip.
The winning Woburn students were Niema Binth Mohammad, Karthigan Muraleetharan, Padmussun Rajakareyar, Ryan Wang, Karn Jariwala and Raj Panchal. From Manitoba came Paige Kaspri, Evan Melans, Jordan Dyck and Jevon Swallo. The Victoria Park team included Alex Revenko, Louis Zeng, Chester Deng, Angad Kashyap, Lennart Batilando and Grace Cho.
The kids I wrote about earlier were from the Scarborough Academy of Technological, Environmental and Computer education (SATEC), which is part of W.A. Porter Collegiate. They won the engineering award and the best collaboration award and finished fourth overall, missing the podium by a sliver.
Congratulations to the winners and to all who took part. It is a fantastic program, particularly for students interested in engineering. It’s hoped that more schools, particularly from the Toronto area, will get involved.
I know this: some of my friends from the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame attended and had their socks knocked off. Next year, they plan to take some real racing cars over there to “dress up” the event and maybe — just maybe — might be able to come up with a “national prize.”
How does a trip to the Grand Prix of Canada sound?