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A group of six Year 10 students from Bradfield School, Sheffield, are to take part in the national finals of the engineering competition ‘F1 in Schools’ after placing 3rd in the Yorkshire and Humber regional final last month. 

Having received sponsorship in the form of funding, technical assistance and components from a number of organisations, including UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE), Timkem, WNT and Primetals Technologies, team ‘Sheff1 Racing’ designed and manufactured a miniature compressed air powered car to take part in the event.

The group is now hoping to continue its successes at the National final - which is to be held at the Airbus A380 Factory, Broughton, in March – where the vehicle will be analysed, tested and raced.
If successful at impressing the judges and taking on the competition, the team will then go through to the next stage which is the World finals.

Following on from the team’s successes to date, UKSE – a subsidiary of Tata Steel tasked with providing support to communities affected by changes in the steel industry - has awarded £750 as part of its Community Support Scheme with the funding contributing to the creation of a prototype model, components for the car and branding.

The F1 in Schools project is a not-for-profit initiative that aims to change the perceptions of STEM subjects and encourage students to consider careers in engineering. Encompassing a range of disciplines including design, manufacture, branding, graphics and finance, the teams are able to learn and apply the skills in practical, competitive and imaginative ways.

Commenting on the project, team member Ben Powell-Wiffen said: “This is our team’s first ever year competing in F1 in Schools and so we’re thrilled to have made it through to the National finals!
“The school was offering the project as an extra-curricular activity and, as a GCSE Engineering student, I decided to get involved – it’s been really great fun making and racing the car as well as learning other skills such as finance management and marketing.

“We also had the opportunity to visit local businesses including Sheffield Hallam University where we visited Dr John Hart at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research to learn more about the aerodynamics of our car, which was really interesting!”

Simon Hamilton, Managing Director of UKSE, added: “I’m delighted that our funding has gone such a long way in helping the team to prepare for the next stage of the competition and have my fingers crossed for a good result!

“The immense time and effort that the students have put into the project is testament to their dedication and work ethic, especially having given up their time after school to complete it. They should all be extremely proud of how far they’ve come.”