F1 in Schools

The world’s most competitive STEM competition

involving over 17,000 schools in 51 countries, Students design-make-race a miniature F1 car capable of 0-80 km/h in under 1 second.

The F1 in Schools STEM Challenge is the world’s foremost student competition for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Each year more than 17,000 schools in 51 nations take on the challenge of developing the world’s fastest miniature F1 car. Here in Australia approximately 22,000 students are involved each year with over ten times that being exposed to the program and having access to the same classroom technology used by the students to design and build their cars.

Established in Australia in 2003, the F1 in Schools STEM Challenge is multi-faceted and multi-disciplined. It is about much more than cars, although the idea of being involved in car design has proved to be a powerful means of attracting even the most uninitiated students to discovering more about STEM.

Mimicking the world of a Formula One team, groups of students have to follow a pathway of engineering and manufacturing disciplines: design, analyse, test, make and race. They are provided with access to real-world technology such as 3D CAD/CAM/CAE engineering design software and soon become proficient in areas such as Coding, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Analysis.

This program also aims to develop skills in problem solving, project management, communication, presentation, teamwork, innovation, self-promotion, collaboration, marketing and entrepreneurialism – which are clearly identified as aiding in the transition through high school… in demand by industries the world over… and not impacted by disruptive technologies.

F1 in Schools STEM Challenge is the most holistic STEM program in the nation.

The stories we can tell about the success of our students are remarkable. Many students engaged in F1 in Schools are offered employment by industry before completing their studies. We have had students head hunted by the Airbus Design Centre in UK and others taking up roles in Formula One teams. To say that having F1 in Schools in your resume is an advantage to attracting a highly rewarding vocation is an understatement.

F1 in Schools Introductory Overview

Interested in running F1 in Schools in your School? Here is an introductory overview of F1 in Schools to help explain what it’s all about and how you can start running it in your school.

F1 in Schools Getting Started

Now that you’ve made the decision to implement F1 in Schools, how do you move forward?  Here is a comprehensive ‘Getting Started’  to guide you along your journey.

A Group Effort

F1 in Schools STEM Challenge helps assisting with the transition to the world or work and bridges the gap between high schools, TAFE and universities.

Collaboration is a fundamental aspect of the program. Schools share technology (classroom sized milling machines, smoke and wind tunnels, electronic race tracks, etc.) and students share their ideas. City classrooms link to rural and remote classrooms.

In some regions students access technology located in dedicated spaces in TAFE’s and Universities, exposing students to the next phase of their learning pathway. Teachers interact with industry, TAFE and University personnel at regional, state and national final events.

Exposing students to career pathways is important and industry has a part to play. The program requires every team to reach out to local businesses to develop their understanding of engineering and manufacturing practices, develop car components or create marketing materials. In many cases this relationship provides employers with opportunities to identify future personnel.

The best STEM students in the world

Since the first inaugural F1 in Schools World Final in 2003, Team Australia has been a dominant participator. Our trophy cabinet contains six world championships, five runners-up, four third places and a trifecta of fourths and six fifths.

The current world record (0.916 seconds) was set in 2016 by a collaboration team made up of students from South Australia & Victoria who proved that the tyranny of distance no longer exists for Australian students.

In 2017, Australia came first and second in the world which was not the first time our students have taken up the majority of podium places. In 2008 we placed second and third and the following year came second, third and fourth.

In 2018, HORIZON from Brighton Secondary Schools in Adelaide South Australia became our 6th set of World Champions, again winning the Best Engineered and Fastest Car awards. 

In addition, we have made it a habit of bringing home the highly coveted category awards. The cabinet is filled with eight Best Engineered Car Awards, six Best International Collaboration Awards and six Fastest Car Awards.

No other nation has come anywhere near this achievement.



To shop the full range of F1 in Schools related consumables and technologies, visit the REA Store.

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