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Manatee County School Students Finish Strong in F1 in Schools World Finals

A collaboration team representing the United States and Canada finished thirteenth after fierce competition at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi.

Three Manatee County students, part of a collaboration team representing the United States and Canada, finished thirteenth in a fierce Formula One competition at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Velox F1, the collaboration team representing the United States and Canada, was one of 33 teams from 22 countries competing in the event with more than 350 students competing for top awards.

Cold Fusion, an Australian team, claimed the F1 in Schools World Champions title. The runners-up  were Team Ignite from the United Kingdom with Team Rush from England claiming the third place honors.

The competition was held inside the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World on Yas Island overlooking the prestigious Yas Marina Formula One Circuit in Abu Dhabi.  

“This was a truly amazing learning experience,” said Mario Palmer, a junior at Braden River High and the Velox graphic designer. “We have met students from all over the world and witnessed how each team interpreted the engineering rules to compete in this global competition.”

The Manatee County students qualified for the F1 in Schools World Finals invitation after placing second at the 2012 Finals in May held at the Michigan International Speedway.

Aly Cote, a freshman at Lakewood Ranch High, served as the team’s resource manager, responsible for the team’s financial support and resources.

Jeremy Petty, a Braden River High graduate, collaborated with Canada’s Genooshan Indirathas to design the team’s entry. Petty constructed the cars in Bradenton.  

Owen Chen, the Velox manufacturing engineer who also served as the reaction time trigger man, built and tested the concept cars at W.A. Porter Technical School in Toronto. Chen logged average times of 1.14 seconds to gain the team’s fifth place slot in that category.  Ajanthan Hariharan served as Team Manager responsible for coordinating the entire team schedule.

Velox’s electric green and black 55 gram c02-powered balsa car logged top performance scores during the four days of competition.  The race car was seventh fastest car out of 33 entries making it under the lights at the end of the 65-foot track in 1.071 seconds.

The International F1 in Schools administrators assigned three members of the American team an opportunity to work with three members of  SATEC/W.A.Porter Technical School who placed second at the Canadian F1 in Schools Finals earlier this year.

The six students formed the Velox F1, one of six collaboration teams at the UAE finals.  The students spent five months and approximately 500 hours virtually preparing for the event using Skype, social media networking and WebEx. The six did not meet in person until they arrived in the UAE last week for the competition.

“It’s been an amazing competition and we’ve seen some exceptionally talented students produce an unbelievably high standard of work," Andrew Denford, Founder and President of F1 in Schools said ater the world finals. "All of the students at the World Finals brought to Abu Dhabi highly competitive cars and highly professional supporting elements and they can all be justifiably proud of their achievements."

"It is not only the F1 in Schools competition which they learn from," he added, "it is the overall experience of travelling to another country, meeting other students from different backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles which is an invaluable experience which they will never forget."

Velox F1 was supported by the Toronto District School Board, Manatee Adult, Career and Technical Education, Mileo & Associates, Inc., Cimetrix, Rapid Prototyping Services, Mosaic, Boca Bearing, Roland, Manatee Education Foundation,  Mosaic, N & M Heating & Cooling, Johnson Electric, Pinnacle Hobby, Trimbach Artistry,  Southern Machine Systems,  Aquarius Coatings and Kwik Kopy of Toronto. 

About F1 in Schools

F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, Science, marketing and technology. 

Students are given a brief to design a model compressed air powered F1™ Car of the future using CAD/CAM Engineering techniques. Cars are then manufactured on a CNC machine. As well as the race cars teams must document their work in a 20 page portfolio, design and build a large display, give a 10 minute verbal presentation and undergo an engineering/scruitineering interview to support the design of their model car.

The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Finals with a time of 1.020 seconds.

The F1 in Schools World Finals 2012 is held annually with the teams brought together for the biggest challenge of their life, competing for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy.

The F1 in Schools program operates in over 40 countries. Each of the National Champions is invited to compete at the World Finals and runners-up are invited to participate by forming a collaboration team, linking with a runners-up team from another country.  

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