Ron Dearing UTC students driven to succeed in a Formula 1-inspired global competition have raised thousands of pounds at a fundraising event to support their racing ambitions.
Seventeen Year 10 and Year 12 students are competing in the F1 in Schools challenge, the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition spanning 40 countries across the globe.
Based on the official F1 model, the teams have designed and manufactured their miniature cars using specialist Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, as well as developing their brand, time management and budgeting skills, building their social media presence and linking up with businesses to back their teams.
They recently held a fundraising event at Porsche Centre Hull at the Bridgehead business park in Hessle, which raised more than £10,000 towards offsetting the costs of each team and their potential participation at each level of the competition.
The event saw more than 100 invited guests meet the teams, listen to their pitches, race F1 in Schools-style cars and take part in a silent auction and raffle.
The teams pitched to potential sponsors, including representatives from the UTC’s employer partners, other leading businesses across the region and the students’ families and friends, about how their logos would be displayed and promoted on an international stage in the competition.
Sponsors included former professional boxer and Lightweight Commonwealth Champion Tommy Coyle, who is sponsoring the Mach Racing team, and Jupiter IT Solutions, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, which is backing the Vortex Racing team.
Some incredible prizes were up for grabs on the evening including a Silverstone experience day, F1 artwork, signed memorabilia, trips abroad and high-end hospitality experiences.
It comes as two of the four Ron Dearing UTC teams – Mach Racing and Vortex Racing – will now go on to compete at the regional finals, which will be held online via YouTube on April 22nd.
The two teams were selected based on their success against specific competition criteria such as their car’s performance and quality and effectiveness of their social media, marketing, presentation skills, teamwork and sponsorship strategies.
Simon Edwards, Teacher of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m so proud of all our students involved in the F1 in Schools challenge. The work they’ve produced so far is fantastic.
“We’d like to thank Porsche Centre Hull for their support and enabling our students to host such a great event in a fantastic space. We’d also like to thank our employer partners and everyone who attended to help them achieve their fundraising goals.”
The competition cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a 25-metre track by a nylon wire and raced. They are timed by a computer from the moment they are launched to when they pass the finish line and Ron Dearing UTC plans to plant trees to offset the carbon.
If the Ron Dearing UTC teams are successful at the regional finals, they will go on to compete at national and potentially international levels, with dates and locations yet to be decided.
Sarah and Adam Hodgson, parents of Year 12 Ron Dearing UTC student Mercy McFarlane, 16, attended the event to show their support. Mercy is the Design and Manufacturing Engineer in the Mach Racing team.
Sarah said: “Mercy has become devoted to the F1 in Schools challenge and it has helped her to grow in confidence. She is thriving at Ron Dearing UTC and everyone has done so well to organise such a great event.”
Year 10 student Henry Morris, 14, Social Media and Marketing Manager for team Overflow, said: “I’m very proud to be part of this event and F1 in Schools. It was interesting to speak to everyone who attended the fundraising evening and tell them what we’ve been doing.”
Sarah Hiles, Showroom Manager at Porsche Centre Hull, said: “I sat in on one of the presentations Mach Racing gave to our Brand Director and it would stand up in one of our board meetings. The students spoke so articulately and professionally.
“All of the students represent Ron Dearing UTC incredibly well and they’re so passionate and enthusiastic about the competition. They’re also learning many wider skills such as fundraising and presenting, which will stand them in great stead for later life.”