Can lightning strike in F1 for schools contest?

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A team of young students from the Lutterworth area will be lining up on the grid for the national final of a Formula 1 competition.

The Lightning Strikes team from Ullesthorpe C of E Primary School have qualified for the F1 in Primary Schools Jaguar national final taking place at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena this Tuesday.

They will be vying for the chance to win a commemorative trophy and tickets to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next month.

Creating a racing car on a computer, testing its aerodynamics with specialist equipment and devising marketing items to promote the team are just a few of the activities mastered by Lightning Strikes to win through to the UK national final of the annual educational competition.

Lightning Strikes is a team of budding engineers who will be travelling to Coventry next week to compete in the final.

These students will be putting a range of skills to the test as they present their own design of a miniature Formula 1 car and compete against other teams from across the country.

The F1 educational initiative challenges teams of pupils to take on either a 2D or 3D challenge.

For the 2D challenge, they design a race car out of cardboard, printing and assembling it, complete with wheels, body and mini racing driver, ready to race.

Older pupils in the 3D challenge, which is often entered by Lutterworth College, use CAD computer software to design their cars before machining a 3D model out of balsa wood with each team member taking responsibility for a specific element of the project.

Lightning Strikes won through after a regional heat earlier this year where the cars, driven by compressed air, were put to the test along a 25-metre race track.

The teams are judged on speed, as well as supporting evidence of their design, a verbal presentation and marketing display stand in the pits.

Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools, said: “We introduced a primary school version of the programme in response to a demand from schools already competing at secondary school level and it has been enormously successful.

“It aims to introduce young students to engineering in a practical environment and link this with elements of the key STEM subjects.

“Feedback is that the students enjoy the challenge of working as a team.”