The Worlds Largest Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Competition
The F1 in Schools™ Technology Challenge is the world’s largest secondary school technology program. It involves over nine million students from 17,000 schools in 31 nations.
The patron is Formula1™ supremo Bernie Ecclestone along with the Formula1™ teams who are co-patrons.
Each year the world championship team is presented with the solid crystal Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools™ World Trophy. REA Foundation has been involved in the development of the program since its inception and manages the the program in Australia and New Zealand. Each year the program engages more than 40,000 high school students in Australia and delivers industry-standard technology into schools which is made available to a further 300,000 students outside the program.
Students as young as 10 are designing, testing and making miniature F1™ cars capable of 80km/h.
But it is not about fast cars. F1 in Schools™ is a holistic action learning program which focuses on developing long term employability skills. Students learn leadership, team building, project management, business planning, public speaking, marketing, collaboration, writing and presentation skills.
Many students engaged in this program have been offered employment by industry before completing their studies… others are pursued by universities with competing scholarships… and one has even been head hunted into the real world of Formula1™ racing as an aerodynamics engineer.
Practical, Flexible, Integrated
The students collaborate with many organisations, industry and higher education facilities to source knowledge and resources during their project. It also provides a platform for mentoring of students. In doing so, they provide tremendous return on investment and education outcomes for all parties. Both metropolitan and rural schools are linked to encourage ongoing collaboration between country and urban students. The students develop a confidence that they have skills and understanding of technology to allow them to continue to live where they like (city or country), following their chosen careers. The program facilitates city and country students how to collaborate over distance in business, empowering them to deal with people anywhere in the world.
The program provides a practical, flexible and an integrated approach that compliments existing programs which address the key drivers of skills shortages specifically in regional areas by:
- Utilising a mix of schools in hubs selected by industry and geography (including disadvantaged schools, students and parents) as such, issues relating to limited access to training and education programs can be alleviated.
- By promoting collaboration between regions, rural access issues can be overcome preventing internal migration of young adults from rural to metropolitan areas.
- With appropriate school participation and training, low levels of education and employment among Indigenous Australians can be improved.
- Encouraging support from both large and smaller local businesses. Business and marketing skills are integrated into the school support base.
- Providing both installation and skills development in use of the latest broadband real-time communications systems. This will help with regional infrastructure and services, attracting workers and their families to regional areas.