You don't have to know how to drive a car to race one
Yet Australian students with tertiary computer science skills are falling in numbers and make up just two per cent of total domestic graduates. So how are our kids supposed to know of the amazing opportunities available to them if they aren’t exposed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning while still at school?
Long-standing partners of the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Sydney Business Education Partnerships (BEP) have collaborated with us to do just that – help instil a passion for STEM learning in primary and high school students throughout Sydney.
In September, BEP held a F1 in Schools Race day at Marrickville High School. Over 190 students from Marrickville High School, Marrickville West Public School, Newington College, South Sydney High School, and Wilkins Public School participated in the highly interactive day.
F1 in Schools is a competition for school students to collaborate, design, manufacture, market and race their miniature Formula One model race cars down a 25-metre race track, propelled by a Co2 gas canister operated automatically and also by reaction racing.
Partnerships Development Manager for F1 in Schools, Adrian Rhodes explains racing is not limited to teenagers, “Primary schools can be involved in the F1, but often they don’t have the time and the resources. So what we have done is design a program for primary schools to make their racing cars out of cardboard.”
“So the children have already learnt a lot about engineering and mathematics and science principles even in primary school.”
The UTS Motorsports racing team also participated in the event. They brought along the race car they designed and now take out to race, giving the younger kids a stronger awareness of the opportunities out there as to the different fields they can study and work in.
F1 in Schools is the largest STEM competition in the world, thanks to the support of its founders, Re-Engineering Australia Foundation. It now involves over nine million students from 17,000 schools in 31 nations. Apart from encouraging kids to become more involved in technology, the learning program focuses on developing long-term employability skills, allowing participants to pick up skills in leadership, team building, project management, business planning, public speaking, marketing, collaboration, and writing and presentations.