The REA Foundation understands the increasing need for more engineers to be a part of Australia’s skills pool, contributing to a vibrant and strong work, social, business and economic environment. REA embarked upon a program of promoting engineering specifically to school-age students by providing technology, motivation and opportunities across Australia through a series of structured experiential education programs. These programs are aimed at developing employability skills and assisting with the transition from school to work.
The most widely recognised stepping stone programs initiated by REA to achieve its goals is the F1 in Schools™ Challenge. F1 in Schools™ is a competition which commenced in 2003 and is offered to all high schools across Australia; initially aimed at students in years 7–10 is now offered to students from years 5-12. This program focuses on developing the creativity and innovation of high school students through a structured engineering design project based on the development of a model Formula One™ racing car. The program is linked with the international F1 in Schools™ challenge which now runs in 34 countries.
The F1 in Schools™ program forms one step in the development of a pathway of sustainable interest, not only inspiring students but also developing in them the key employability skills which will assist in their transition into the work force. REA is recognised as being the global best practice example of how to implement career intervention programs in schools.
The incorporation of skills shortages objectives, collaboration and industry links are unique and now being adopted in many other countries around the world with our support.
This project links Schools, Industry, TAFE, Universities and parents in a collaborative and experiential environment focused on changing the metaphor of the education process. By 2012 over 300 secondary schools across Australia, together with numerous Universities and TAFE colleges have participated in the F1 in Schools™program providing a platform for over 40,000 students to actively participate in this challenge each year with another 300,000 students being exposed to the activity and the outcomes.
Our goal is to equip these children with the skills and knowledge to allow them to take on the world.