Students have the right formula

Sam EmanuelA group of Norwich students have competed in a national Formula 1 racing car design competition after winning the regional heats.Sam Emanuel

A group of Norwich students have competed in a national Formula 1 racing car design competition after winning the regional heats.

Three students from Notre Dame High School, one from The Hewett School and one from Wayland Community High School built a small gas-fired car for the F1 in Schools Challenge as part of their studies.

Rachel Crook, Tariq Elghadban, Emma Kelly, Jack Purnell and John Davila, who are all 14 or 15, designed their car using Computer Aided Design and aerodynamically tested it before competing in the final at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham's NEC against 30 teams from around the country. They had to race it on a 20m track, and their entry reached 60kph.

It formed part of their studies for their Diploma in Manufacturing and Product Design (MPD).


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In January, the team, called Team Pluto, had beaten off stiff competition to win the Best Rookie Team category during a London and south-east regional heat held at the headquarters of the Williams F1 team in Oxfordshire.

The regional finals were judged on speed, together with supporting evidence of design, a verbal presentation and a marketing display stand in the pits.

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Julian McKay, a teacher at Notre Dame High School, believes the team's success was a great boost to the students' studies. He said: 'It was the first time we entered a team into this competition, and I must say they have been outstanding.

'They thought it was a fantastic experience and are already talking about what they can do next. We are hoping to build on this success next year.'

The F1 Challenge was founded more than 10 years ago to give students aged nine to 19 a fun and exciting way of learning about science and technology in the high octane world of F1. For more information, visit www.manufacturingdiploma.co.uk.

Have you won or reached the finals of a national competition? If so, call reporter Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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