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Wellingtonions shine at the ‘F1 in Schools Shanghai Regional Final’ event

18 February 2017
Wellington College pupils excelled at the ‘F1 in Schools Shanghai Regional Final’ event, competing with 40 teams from Shanghai primary and high schools. They took on the multi-disciplinary challenge of designing, funding, manufacturing and racing a miniature air-powered Formula One car. Not only did our pupils manage to achieve an excellent overall ranking, they also came away from weekend’s competition holding a sportsmanship award as well as the “Fastest Car in Category” award with a recorded time of 1.37 seconds, the 5th fastest time overall across the entire event. The regional final was split into two distinct categories – Primary/Middle School and High School – but throughout the weekend our pupils consistently had to compete against other pupils considerably older and more experienced than themselves. Despite these challenging circumstances, they performed exceptionally well. The event started well for our teams as they passed the opening day’s technical inspection of the competing cars – 12 out of 40 teams failed the inspection and needed to make modifications in order to race. After a strong start, Wellington College qualified for the knockout stage among the top 16 teams. The boys won the knockout competition for their Primary/Middle School category and even reached the overall knockout semi-finals, beating several high school teams along the way. By the end of the competition, the team had placed 7th out of 40, once the scores of both the Primary/Middle School and High School teams were combined. The F1 in Schools Shanghai Regional Final allowed Wellingtonians to blend and deploy their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, which they had learnt in the classroom, in a practical yet creative way. Moreover, the programme went beyond simply building STEM prowess. It also aided the development of a true entrepreneurial spirit in the participating pupils who were required to prepare a business proposal and approach industry figures to raise the funds for their project. As a result, their skills in leadership, collaboration, project management and communication were honed while they gained the invaluable experience of competing with strong rivals from the other schools.. Through this hands-on experience, our pupils also gained an insight into a range of STEM-related careers. Wellington College believes that it is important to provide our pupils with plenty of opportunities to explore their individual interests, as it will help prepare them to make university and career choice. Providing Wellingtonians with access to out-of-classroom events and experiences is vital for encouraging this kind of preparation and we look forward to witnessing our pupils’ future successes at the next ‘F1 in Schools Shanghai’ event.