EARLY YEARS DISCOVERY DAY
In November, a team of 17 and 18-year-old students from the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Nam Phong Racing set off on their #RaceToAbuDhabi for the 2019 F1 in Schools World Finals.
As the only school in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam to offer participation in this highly acclaimed global STEM competition, our team of five talented secondary students flew the flag for Vietnam at the World Finals, joining 54 teams for 4 days of intense competition.
F1 in Schools is a multi-faceted STEM challenge embracing enterprise, design, engineering, marketing and teamwork inspired by the high profile, glamorous and high-tech world of fast cars and Formula 1. Students collaborate to mimic real F1 teams where they design, manufacture, test and race a miniature F1 car down a 20-metre race track. Alongside the racing, the students are required to undergo verbal presentations, portfolio, pit display, marketing and engineering judging sessions.
Teams are awarded marks for each of these areas, battling it out to become F1 in Schools World Champions. During the stunning Awards Celebration Ceremony that was held on Turn 1 of Yas Marina Circuit, Nam Phong Racing had the incredible opportunity of networking with CEO of Formula 1 Mr Chase Carey, former F1 driver Nico Rosberg and engineering experts responsible for creating some of the world’s fastest F1 cars. These connections are invaluable to our students, particularly those wanting to pursue future careers in motorsport or engineering.
F1 in Schools Lead Mr Greg Roberts says: “The F1 in Schools World Finals 2019 engaged and inspired our students, introducing them to the future of engineering on a world stage. The team worked extremely hard in the run-up to the World Finals; researching, designing and manufacturing the perfect F1 car before racing against 54 countries in Abu Dhabi. This competition has given our students the opportunity to develop skills such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking in a real-world setting while forming the foundation for an exciting career path.”
Reaching the World Finals is a journey in itself comprising of an entire year dedicated to creating a brand, raising sponsorship, marketing, designing and manufacturing their cars. Now that the World Finals has come to an end, we ask Nam Phong Racing to reflect on their year-long journey sharing their personal highlights from the trip:
“The lead up to the World Finals was a life-changing experience for me. It improved my leadership skills, taught me how to manufacture parts of a miniature F1 car and constantly challenged me to persevere and think more critically. It has pushed me to become a better person and I have been able to find a passion and a future in automotive engineering. I have definitely come out of this competition more ambitious than ever.”
“At the age of 15, I fell in love with the sport of Formula 1. Apart from the usual excitement of racing, rivalries and the occasional controversies, I was enamoured by the technology, teamwork and synergy that went behind what can be argued as the pinnacle of motorsport. So, when I first heard about F1 in Schools: a competition for students, which mimicked F1 companies, I was - needless to say - hooked.
All our hard work, was extremely rewarding. The whole process of getting to the World Finals, pushing through the problems we faced and working together as a team was unforgettable, to say the least. Meeting countless friends, discussing with experts and walking into the pits, are but a few of my highlights from this life-changing experience.”
“When I first joined the competition, I started off with basic Adobe Illustrator skills. F1 in Schools really challenged me into designing and establishing the team identity through our merchandise, pit display, uniforms and social media posts. This competition has tested our creativity, our innovative thinking but most importantly our ability to collaborate as a team. It was an amazing opportunity to compete and form connections with teams from all across the world. Plus, being able to celebrate my birthday at one of the world's foremost international STEM-based competitions in Abu Dhabi with the most supportive and talented teammates truly made it an unforgettable experience.”
“I was initially interested in F1 in Schools as I really enjoyed working on Fusion 360 to model my ideas and prototypes of my dream car. As preparation for the competition progressed, my passion for design merged with aerodynamic concepts, further deepening my love for engineering. Because of this, I have decided to pursue aerospace engineering as my future career. My favourite part of the competition was being able to see the Yas Marina garage pits, meeting students from different cultures, getting to talk to the Torro Rosso Team Manager and being able to see our hard work come to fruition.”
“Liaising with various local and multinational companies as Marketing Manager helped me improve my organisation skills and explore the intersection between theoretical business concepts with practical corporate marketing. From cramming verbal presentation scripts at dawn to extravagant room service meals to Mr. Roberts reminiscing about “old times” over dinner, the 15th annual F1 in Schools World Finals has truly been a memorable experience. Meeting like-minded people from all corners of the globe has fuelled a passion for motorsports, innovation and positive change that will continue to inspire us beyond our high school education.”
It's clear that the F1 in Schools competition has allowed our students to explore and develop their individual talents whether that be in marketing, engineering or leadership - paving the way for a bright future in whatever career they choose.