We are tremendously proud to announce our three teams competing in the F1s in Schools Competition have placed 1st, 3rd and 4th in the Victorian Championships! (They were also the only girl-only teams to compete.)
F1s in Schools is the world’s largest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) competition, involving over nine million students from 31 nations. In teams of five, students use industry-standard software and equipment to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test and race miniature F1 cars capable of 80 km/h.
The development of long term employability skills is a key component, with students learning project management, business planning, marketing, presentation skills, social media management, collaboration and leadership. Along with their racing cars, students create their own websites, exhibition displays, team shirts and portfolios and participate in team interviews.
It is the first year of participation for MLC students, but such was the enthusiasm that the College was able to form three teams, made up of students in Years 7, 8 and 9.
“MLC is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage the girls and give them authentic learning experiences,” says Kevin Lugg, Art and Design teacher at MLC and one of the instigators of the program at the College. “After attending the state finals in 2016, we were very interested and felt we had the technical expertise and background to guide the girls with the components of the program.”
The three teams, Xeno Motion, Angle of Attack and Team Optimal, began work on their cars in February under the guidance of Kevin and several other staff, collaborating from different departments.
The teams learned how to approach large corporations for sponsorship, and developed relationships with companies such as Ford Australia, 3D Systems, Konica Minolta and Australia Post. Ford Australia engineers also visited the College and offered words of wisdom to the students.
“The students benefited from this program immensely,” Kevin says. “They have had the opportunity to learn through hands-on practical problem solving while gaining a variety of transferable skills. All the students have definitely stepped out of their comfort zone and worked as hard as they could, and even though we knew they were doing well based on feedback from the judges, we were overwhelmed when they were announced as the winners and also third and fourth place.”
We are delighted that in an area that is traditionally male-dominated in both school subject participation and in the workforce, the girls were so enthusiastic. The success at the State Championships will continue to encourage and inspire MLC students to continue to learn more in these STEM subjects.
Team Xeno Motion are now looking forward to travelling to Tasmania in March 2018, where they will be competing in the National Championships, and the third and fourth placed teams are already regrouping and planning to enter in the professional class for 2018.