The leading global educational initiative, F1 in Schools™, has announced it will stage its ninth World Finals event in Austin, Texas, this year, alongside the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX to be held at Circuit of The Americas in November. It will be the first time that the F1 in Schools World Finals will have been held in the United States, with the 2012 event having taken place at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
The return of Formula 1™ to the United States last year was the natural impetus for F1 in Schools to consider the continent as the host nation for the event and after fact-finding visits to the area and the inaugural 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, F1 in Schools Founder and Chairman, Andrew Denford, was left in no doubt that the destination would be an ideal location for the 2013 World Finals.
“From the moment I arrived in Austin I was welcomed with open arms,” said Denford. “The city, the circuit and the local government were right behind us with their support for bringing F1 in Schools to the State of Texas. They understand the value of reaching out to the younger F1 audience and a wider fan base of young people and the F1 in Schools World Finals will sit very neatly with the ambitions of Austin.”
“Circuit of The Americas is pleased that the F1 in Schools World Finals will be held in Austin prior to our Grand Prix,” the Circuit’s Vice President of Public and Media Relations Julie Loignon said. “F1 in Schools provides a unique educational platform that leverages Formula 1 and provides students with a chance to apply science, math, technology and engineering subject matter to the live racing action they experience on track. It’s a unique and impactful educational experience.”
The event is expected to be staged in one of the leading downtown conference facilities in the run-up to the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, with a glittering Awards evening rounding off three days of competition for the students. All the competitors will be given the opportunity to stay on for the race weekend and enjoy the experience of watching the Grand Prix trackside.
Denford says of selecting Austin for the 2013 F1 in Schools World Finals, “Our priority, whenever possible, is to dovetail the event with a Formula 1 Grand Prix and in recent years we’ve been able to do this with Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and last year, Abu Dhabi. There is immense pressure for the students participating in one of the most prestigious global student competitions and they work extremely hard before they reach the event and during the course of the three days of competition, so it is great for them to be able to reap the benefits of their hard work with a visit to the United States Grand Prix.”
SAE International manages the F1 in Schools program in the United States and qualifies student teams through a series of regional competitions, including a Texas Regional to be held at the Circuit of The Americas on March 23, 2013. “We expect strong home grown competition this year! SAE International is thrilled that the F1 in Schools World Finals will be held in the United States in 2013 and cannot imagine a more appropriate venue than Austin, Texas,” SAE Foundation Director Matt Miller said.
F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula 1, science, marketing and technology. Students are given a brief to design a model compressed air powered F1™ Car of the future using CAD/CAM Engineering techniques. Cars are then manufactured on a CNC machine. Each team of between three and six students brings together their portfolio of work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car. The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second.
The F1 in Schools program operates in over 40 countries. Each of the National Champions is invited to compete at the World Finals and the 2nd and 3rd podium place teams are invited to participate by forming collaboration teams, linking with the runner-up teams from another country. The collaboration teams communicate by virtual technologies such as CISCO WebEx before finally meeting each other for the first time when they arrive at the World Finals. The Finals are held over the course of three days with the teams brought together for the biggest challenge of their young life, competing for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy and coveted Automotive and Motorsport Engineering scholarships at City University London.
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