Ron Dearing UTC duo crowned Regional Champions in Formula 1-inspired competition

Two Year 13 students at Ron Dearing UTC have scooped first place and a string of further accolades in the Regional Finals of the F1 in Schools UK challenge, securing their place on the starting grid of the National Finals later this year.

Mach Racing, comprising of Jess MacLachlan and Mercy McFarlane, competed against various other schools from across the country at the National STEM Learning Centre in York as the latest season of the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition got underway.

They were crowned overall Regional Champions, with their car reaching the end of the track in just 1.333 seconds. In addition, the team also won awards for Lightening Reaction Time, Pit Display, Team Identity and Sponsorship and Marketing in all classes.

Jess and Mercy also competed in the first round of last year’s Formula 1-inspired competition and won the Star Quality: Verbal Presentation Award.

It is the second consecutive year a Ron Dearing UTC team has taken the top spot in the Regional Finals of the competition. The UTC’s Vortex Racing team won first place last year and went on to compete in the National Finals.

From left, Cieran Dowling, Jess MacLachlan, Mercy McFarlane and Glenn Jensen.


Jess and Mercy were accompanied at this year’s Regional Finals by Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, Cieran Dowling, Ron Dearing UTC’s F1 in Schools Coordinator, and Laura Wiles, a member of the school’s Sixth Form Pastoral team.

Jess said: “It feels amazing to win. This journey has been tough but it was all worth it in the end.

“To finally pick up that number one trophy felt fantastic. F1 in Schools has taught us so much and we wanted to give up many times but we’re thankful we persevered.”

Mercy said: “Winning the F1 in Schools Regional Finals was an amazing feeling, proving that dedication and hard work was worth it. It also feels great knowing we have influenced many young students along the way.

“Throughout the competition I’ve become more confident in myself and with public speaking, as well as becoming a better engineer and critical thinker.”

Jess and Mercy at the Regional Finals.


The F1 in Schools challenge sees more than one million schoolchildren from 40 countries take part each year. Each team designs and manufactures and miniature car based on the official F1 model using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).

The cars are powered using CO₂ cartridges and are attached to a 25m track by a nylon wire and raced. The teams also design their own branding and logos, plan social media and marketing strategies to promote themselves, deliver presentations and raise sponsorship for their teams.

Glenn said: “This is an absolutely fantastic achievement for Mach Racing. Not only are they the regional winners but they also picked up awards for the hard work they’ve put in over the last two years.

“We’re extremely proud that two of our aspiring young female engineers have been able to achieve this and we can’t wait for the National Finals later this year. We’re very proud of Jess and Mercy and they should be very proud of themselves too.”

Ron Dearing UTC students travel to Parliament to demand climate change action

Three Year 11 students from Ron Dearing UTC travelled to Parliament to demand climate change action.

Hull’s Young Mayor Amaya Newman and fellow students Josh Bishoprick and Aoife Curran-Smirk, all 16, joined young people from Taunton, Skegness and Suffolk in Westminster Hall to plead with parliamentarians and Government officials to protect their communities from the impact of flooding.

They asked them to accept amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that would help to protect homes from flooding.

The event was organised in partnership with rights and climate group Rights Community Action and creative collective Glimpse as part of the #WeAreHere campaign, which empowers “at risk” local communities across the country to speak out about how they are under threat from climate change.

Chris Berry, Assistant Principal – Cultural Capital at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our students for giving very confident, powerful speeches and holding those in power to account.


Ron Dearing UTC students Amaya Newman, Josh Bishoprick and Aoife Curran-Smirk talking with Government officials.


“They asked intelligent questions and made politicians sit up and listen. They saw politics in action and it has helped them to realise that politics is for young people from Hull, not just for people from other areas.”

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill entered committee stage in the House of Lords on February 20. Baroness Hayman has proposed a ‘community resilience to climate change’ amendment no. 270, responding to the needs of people and places who are facing uncertain and risky futures.

Ron Dearing UTC students shared their stories about the threat posed by climate change and displayed some of their artwork inspired by the Shorelines Hull project.

Shorelines has been running in the city for the last three years and saw Ron Dearing students create a mural with Mexican artist Gustavo Chavez Pavon in December 2021.

Aoife said: “Living in Hull, we already know about the impact of climate change after the catastrophic floods of 2007.

“We think the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill is a fantastic opportunity for the government to show they are serious about tackling the climate crisis and the massive impact it has on communities such as ours.”

Josh said: “I don’t want Hull to flood again. Raising awareness on such a grand scale and having my voice heard was the most important part for me.

“We have to take action and it was a really good opportunity to do that. It was a nerve-wracking but liberating experience.”

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy with the Ron Dearing UTC students.


Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy was among the MPs who hosted the event. Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis and Flooding Minister Rebecca Pow MP also attended to listen to the students.

The Ron Dearing students are now preparing to send an open letter to more than 50 MPs in flood risk areas to summarise their climate change thoughts following the event.

Emma said: “It was a pleasure to host this event for the students of Ron Dearing UTC. Hull is in the firing line of climate change-affected flooding from all sides, with increased rainfall, rivers and rising tides.

“It’s vital our young people understand the challenges ahead and learn how they can better effect change through the democratic process. I hope their visit demystifies what goes on in Parliament and opens up new ways for them to lobby for the future they deserve and that we all need.”

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Director of Rights Community Action, said: “It was fantastic to see the students speaking truth to power in Parliament.

“Their heartfelt concern on climate change and commitment to the places in which they live should be a massive boost for changes to the Bill currently going through the House of Lords.

“We need laws that can be relied on rather than policies that can be changed at the drop of a hat and the climate crisis needs long-term solutions in places like Hull and Skegness.

“Our #WeAreHere project, along with our partners Glimpse, is now helping to bring these young people’s voices to Parliament and to make sure they are heard.”

Ron Dearing UTC student set to represent UK at international camp in Argentina

A Ron Dearing UTC student who is part of a global organisation dedicated to inspiring peace is set the represent the UK in Argentina later this year.

Year 11 student George Campbell-Hamilton, 15, is a member of Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), a not-for-profit organisation which educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.

It supports children and young people to develop their potential as future leaders and active citizens, encouraging them to make a difference in their own communities and across the world.

Members also build global friendships and networks, learning more about human rights, diversity, conflict resolution and sustainable development while promoting friendship and mutual understanding to achieve peace.

George will travel to Argentina as an International Peace Delegate on Boxing Day, December 27, and meet other delegates from across the world at the two-week camp.

Year 11 student George Campbell-Hamilton is a member of Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), a not-for-profit organisation which educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.


George, who was inspired to join CISV after his sisters pursued similar paths with the organisation, said: “We talk about what’s happening in our own country, as well as about the environment and global issues.

“Being part of CISV since I was nine years old has given me more confidence to speak in front of large crowds and knowledge of new things happening in the world and human rights. I’ve learnt so much.

“You meet so many different people from different backgrounds and experience their culture. I’m really excited to go to Argentina and do the same there.”

George, who hopes to become an Astrophysicist, Anaesthetist or a Radiologist in the future, has already represented the UK at CISV camps in Portugal, Brazil and Sweden, as well as closer to home in London and Leeds.

He added: “I think people across the world can often be quick to act without thinking about the consequences on the environment and peace relations.

“Being part of CISV helps me to take into account a lot more factors around world issues than I would have done before.”

Founded in 1950, CISV member associations operate in more than 60 countries and over 200 cities around the world.

CISV is a global organisation dedicated to inspiring peace


CISV is also an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation  (UNESCO), which promotes world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re incredibly proud of George and the work he is doing to broaden his own horizons while understanding and learning more about important global issues and cultures.

“The skills he is gaining through CISV will help him throughout his entire life, especially as he begins to think about his next steps after Ron Dearing UTC.

“We actively encourage our students to embrace opportunities like this this outside the classroom to enrich their learning and give them new experiences. We’re looking forward to hearing more about George’s trip to Argentina when he returns.”

Ron Dearing UTC students embrace great outdoors in five-day challenge

Sixth form computing students from Ron Dearing UTC took part in a challenging residential trip in the Lake District to boost their confidence, resilience, communication and teamwork skills.

Run by The Outward Bound Trust in Ullswater, the trip saw 10 Year 13 students embrace team-building, orienteering, canoeing and an overnight expedition over five days.

The UTC’s Employer Partners, which offer apprenticeship and employment opportunities to Ron Dearing students each year, encourage teamwork and communication skills in their workforces and the trip was designed to build on those areas to help set students up for the future.

Raft building

Day one of the trip included team-building games, a jog and a swim in the lake, while day two was focused on orienteering. The students were awarded points which could be converted into money to buy materials to build a raft and sail it back across the lake.

They had to plan the route, how to build the raft and establish what kit they’d need to meet the requirements of the challenge.

Day three was the start of the 10-mile expedition, which involved climbing the Seat Sandal fell from Patterdale, staying in a hut overnight, and walking to Glenridding the following day.

The focus was on working as a team, ensuring no one was left behind, and the students ate meals from ration packs.

On top of Sandle Seat
Students at the top of Seat Sandle

Day four saw the students canoe four miles from Glenridding back to the Outward Bound base in Ullswater.

Jason White, Head of Computing at Ron Dearing UTC, and Digital Teacher Robbie Olsen accompanied the students on the trip and completed the activities with them, encouraging and supporting them along the way.

Robbie said: “Some of the students had never done anything like this before and they all gained very valuable skills. They were pushed out of their comfort zones and they all did really well.

“Experiences like this build on the students’ confidence, communication and teamwork skills, which our Employer Partners want to see in their future apprentices.  It’s character-building and it also gives them  wider experiences to include on CVs and discuss during interviews.

“It was a fantastic week and we’re looking forward to taking more sixth form students along for the experience next year.”

The Outward Bound Trust aims to inspire young people to believe they can achieve more than they ever thought possible. The charity partners with schools, colleges, employers and youth groups to teach young people to believe in themselves.

Student Kenzi Wilson at the top of Seat Sandle

Following the trip’s success, it will now become an annual event and another is planned for a further 12 Year 13 students in October.

Kenzi Wilson, 17, said: “It was hard work but I gained a lot from it. It improved my confidence and I found the experience very enriching. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

Fellow Year 13 student Layla Richards, 18, said: “The trip taught us how to work as a team and I really enjoyed canoeing. I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Ben Garner, 17, added: “The trip helped me to improve my social skills. I’d like an apprenticeship to become and IT Engineer with one of the school’s employer partners when I leave Ron Dearing UTC. If I can communicate better in a team, it will help me in the future.”