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F1 in Schools Pioneers

In September 2015, five pioneering secondary students from British International School, Ho Chi Minh City represented their school and Vietnam at the internationally acclaimed F1 in Schools World Finals 2015.  Not only did they create history by being the first ever team from Vietnam to participate in the competition, but they also returned jubilant with the Best Newcomer Award!  

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One of the core elements reflected in our school Aide Memoire is perseverance and Kisum Chan, Nhi Trinh, Shane Kang, David Kim and Hikaru Hotta, are all examples of how sheer determination and dedication can achieve great things.  In September 2015, after two years of perseverance ‘Team Helios’ achieved their goal to compete in the prestigious F1 in Schools World Final in Singapore.  

Initiated by their charismatic Business Studies teacher, Mr. McGraw and inspired by their Design Technology teacher, Mr. Ball, the team started out on the path to the F1 in Schools World Finals – the challenge was to design, construct and race the fastest Formula One car for the future, powered merely by compressed air cylinders, and that was just the beginning!

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In Vietnam, Formula One is not nearly as popular as it is in other countries and the team faced a real challenge in sourcing sponsorship.  However, they remained undeterred and persistently worked towards their goal by generating awareness of this event, formulating an airtight business plan which included defining their roles and scope of responsibility, engaging relevant stakeholders all whilst designing the vital component, the Formula 1 vehicle.  

Respecting the magnitude of this event and recognising that they were entering a competition with much more experienced and seasoned teams, the BIS HCMC team identified their own core strength, as described by Kisum, Team Manager, “being from a tight-knit school helped our friendships develop over the 2 year journey, this meant that by the time we arrived in Singapore we could work in synergy which is key to every functioning team”.  In applying this synergy, the BIS team returned to Vietnam triumphant having being selected for the Best Newcomers Award.  Embedded in their success is the vested desire in each of them to support and inspire future BIS Formula teams.

Our school community could not be prouder of our ambitious pioneers and what they achieved in 2015.  

Well done Team Helios for paving the way and inspiring future generations of BIS students.  

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