F1 in Schools is a not-for-profit company that, together with its partners, aims to help change perceptions of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing an exciting yet challenging educational experience through the appeal of Formula One (F1).
Operating in over 40 countries, students aged between 11 to 19 set up their own F1 team of between four and six students. Team members then work together to design, construct and test a 21cm-long scale model of an F1 car which will be raced against competing cars on a 20-metre track. As well as the car, teams also have to consider team identity, branding, marketing and sponsorship; just like a real F1 team.
Tiro Racing, which is supported by training provider TXM Academy, consists of six members and uniquely was the only team of engineering apprentices to reach the finals this year.
Tiro team manager, Josh Schofield, had taken part in F1 in Schools since 2010 as part of various teams and when he started his engineering apprenticeship at Kingston College in September 2016 he thought it would be a great idea to set up a team of fellow apprentices at the college. And so Tiro (which means apprentice in Latin) was born.
The team members – who work as apprentices for The National Physical Laboratory, Imperial College London, GlaxoSmithKline, Rolls-Royce and Siemens – utilised the workshop at Kingston College to manufacture their car. Here they made use of the College’s machinery and hand tools as well as Autodesk’s range of CAD tools. As an F1 in Schools partner, teams are provided access to Autodesk software and support through the competition season.
Having successfully competed in the regional and national competitions earlier this year, Tiro Racing managed to raise enough sponsorship in order to compete in the world finals, which took place at the end of September where it raced to victory in the R&D category.
Fellow UK team Academy Racing, a team of four 15 – 17 year old students from WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry, won the fastest car category. They received a trophy that had been designed and made by Thomas Halleybone, a Mercedes AMG F1 composite apprentice at TXM Academy.
“This is a very special moment for everyone connected with Tiro Racing, as well as Thomas Halleybone and his team, and we are immensely proud of them,” said TXM Academy managing director Andrew Midgley.
“All their hard work and dedication has come to fruition to be recognised at the F1 in Schools World Finals. Endless hours in the workshop and on the computers have paid off and they thoroughly deserve to be awarded their titles”
“Having been involved with Tiro Racing’s team manager Josh Schofield five years ago when he first got involved in this wonderful STEM event, it is great to see how far he has come in his career, steering his team to this wonderful achievement. This is the first ever apprenticeship team to represent the F1 in Schools World Finals and a great platform for the students to build a career in F1 and engineering in general,” adds Momodou S Ceesay, engineering lecturer/assessor.