St. Bede’s College student Peter Russell stood on the podium of the F1 in Schools STEM Challenge World Finals in Texas proud in the fact that he had contributed to his team, Infinitude, being named the second best team on the planet (out of more than 9,000,000 students participating in the competition).

(They were the best team in the world on the race track having set a scorching new World Lap Record)

Peter and his five team mates were drawn together from St. Bede’s in Melbourne and Brighton Secondary School in Adelaide and had overcome “the tyranny of distance” to design and make an innovative miniature Formula One racer with a detailed technical portfolio, pit display, verbal presentation, team branding and marketing materials.

Whilst the spotlight is often on the car and its on-track performance the presentation of the team is of equal importance. With teams often separated by a single point in the final scoring the smart students know that you have to aim high in every area. Such it was that Peter, with his creative skills, was made Infinitude’s Digital Communications and Brand Manager. He was responsible for their team logo, branding, online and offline design, car livery, the look and feel of the portfolio and pit display, team uniforms and merchandising.

We caught up with Peter following his success on the global stage…

“My outlook on how I view graphics today is very different to how I saw graphics before my involvement in F1 in Schools around two years ago. I now have a keen eye for detail in all aspects of branding that I witness on a day to day basis: adverts, posters, publications, business cards, etc. – pretty much anything visual that I come across makes me immediately curious about how that content was designed and how I can implement those techniques in my own work. The competition has greatly changed my way of thinking.”

“As graphics work for Infinitude began to come to an end the skills I had learnt from my time in the competition carried across to my schoolwork. I began to use Adobe InDesign for school assignments as a way to apply myself to academia the same way as I did while competing in F1 in Schools. I definitely exceeded expectations for assignments in terms of presentation, while everyone else continues to use Word!”

Peter saw the recent announcement by REA Foundation about our strategic alliance with Visual Connections, the organisation which represents the printing and signage industries.

“I am keen to see how this alliance evolves to benefit competitors in REA’s STEM competitions. I think it is fantastic to see the sometimes overlooked branding component of F1 in Schools being promoted in such a way and, in particular, the career pathways that can emerge for F1 in Schools alumni (like myself) who specialise in graphic design.”

“Branding is so crucial for businesses today and the demand for graphic designers, like those that F1 in Schools fosters, will only continue to grow going into the future. I hope that the alliance with Visual Connections will provide an avenue for talented graphic designers to flourish post-competition.”