Prime Minister David Cameron has thrown his support behind an initiative aimed at inspiring school children by giving them a taste of running their own Formula One team.
The F1 in Schools initiative challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm long scale model built from a block of balsa wood and powered by a compressed air cylinder.
Mr Cameron endorsed F1 in Schools, the world’s largest educational initiative, in the lead up to the 2013 F1 in Schools World Finals which will be held this year in Austin, Texas in November.
The PM said: “From product design to marketing, practical physics to budgeting, F1 in Schools is a wonderful opportunity for students to develop a wide range of useful skills in a fun and exciting environment.”
“Through its challenging international competition, F1 in Schools plays an important role in inspiring the next generation of engineers around the world. I would like to wish all the competitors every success in the World Finals in Austin, Texas, in November.”
Each team of between three and six students creates a ‘pit’ display and showcases their work in developing their race car, with a verbal and written presentation for the judges.
The teams then race their model car on a specially designed 20 metre test track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second.
Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools said he was grateful for the PM’s support.
“We are indebted to Mr Cameron for sending us this message of support. We are always keen to receive recognition of the value of the F1 in Schools programme and there is no better endorsement than from our Prime Minister.”
He added: “Recognition of the role that F1 in Schools can play within the education environment is important to us, as we continue in our mission to continue to broaden the reach of F1 in Schools, both within the UK and in other countries.
The Challenge, in its thirteenth year, was introduced to the UK in 2000 and since this time has expanded to over 40 countries, reaching over 20 million students taking part around the globe.
“We currently run the programme in over 40 countries and this is rapidly expanding as we increase the profile of the programme and engage the support of government in the nations in which we operate.”