Several of our members went to visit Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (QEGS) in Faversham on Wednesday to meet the new members of their F1 in Schools team, 'Eclipse', and also see how the school is progressing with entries for our Innovation Competition.
F1 in Schools is an international effort to get school children engaged with engineering, and regular readers will recall that QEGS' previous F1 in Schools Team, 'Evolve', won last year's World Championships in Abu Dhabi. As well as designing, producing and racing mini racing cars, the QEGS youngsters encourage other school children to get involved with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
On this occasion President Elect Alan Mepstead, Past Presidents Margaret Griffin, John Hill and Tim Brett, and Rotarian Brian Dobinson went to visit the school.
First, they talked to eight of the school's students who are preparing entries for the Innovation Competition. These students gave an overview of their projects and discussed what had drawn them to the schemes.
The Rotarians then met and chatted with four members of the new F1 in Schools Team: The four were: Benedict Eyo (Year 10; Design and Manufacturing Engineer); Javier Gladstone Contioso (Year 11; Team Principal and Design Engineer); Maisie Billings (Year 10; Graphic Designer) and Evie Curd (Year 10; Graphic Designer). [The remaining two members, Jonty Feurtado (Year 10; Manufacturing Engineer and Graphic Designer) and Isaac Wright (Year 9; Marketing and Sponsorship Manager) were unable to attend.] The youngsters told them about their car design and their plans.
Being an all new team, there wasn't any expectation for them to be winning prizes in their first season. Nevertheless, the team surprised everyone by winning first prize for best engineered car, fastest car and 1st place overall in the recent Regional Finals. Their car actually beat, by a microsecond, the speed of last year's world champion car!
The team will now take part in the National Finals in Bristol. Brian Dobinson, who liaises with local schools in relation to the Innovation Competition and who helped build our relationship with the school in relation to F1 in Schools, called the team "a very impressive bunch". He added, "the really impressive bit is that the school is one of the less-well funded schools in the competition, but such is the enthusiasm of the teachers that they have beaten much better-heeled rivals."
The visit to the school ended with a tour of the workshops and art room.
Picture: Four team 'Eclipse' members show their current car to our members. Picture credit: Brian Dobinson/Rotary Club of Canterbury.
With thanks to Brian Dobinson for providing draft text.