Milton Keynes schools take on F1 challenge to build race car

Inspiring Futures through Learning have the winning formula by putting STEM in the driving seat

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 1:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 1:48 pm

Six schools in Milton Keynes, within the Inspiring Futures through Learning (IFtL) Trust family, are taking part in this year’s F1 in Schools STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) mission to build a race car.

Fairfields, Two Mile Ash, Whitehouse, St Mary St Giles, Ashbrook and Holmwood all took part in the challenge.

The main objective is to help change the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and maths by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula 1, science, marketing and technology.

Pupils from Fairfields Primary School took part in the challenge

The IFtL event is unique in that they have grouped the year 6’s, meeting virtually, to engage and collaborate supporting relationships across the IFtL Family.

Matthew Shotton, Executive Head at Fairfields Primary School, said: “Research has shown that when you bring pupils together on a project to problem solve they form closer friendships which will help them connect before they transition in secondary school.

"The way we are coordinating the F1 project is distinctive to IFtL as we are bringing pupils from other schools to meet virtually, discuss their race car, ideas and learn from their peers across the Trust before they move into year 7 - bringing a sense of belonging to the IFtL Family.

"This will enhance the transition process and make it less scary for them. We cannot wait to see the final races!”

Pupils from Fairfields Primary School enjoyed taking the challenge

Due to Covid restrictions, each school hosted a race day separately from Thursday, July 8, to Monday, July 12.

Carl Thomas, teacher at Fairfields Primary School and project lead for the F1 mission, said: “Over the course of the project, the children have really gelled in their teams.

"It has been wonderful to watch them negotiating issues and problem solving independently.

"They have loved creating their unique team names, colour schemes and identities, and sharing them with their fellow students across the Trust during their daily video calls.

Each school hosted a race day separately

"It has been great for them to be able to interact with children from different schools, share ideas and take inspiration from them and feed it back into their own project work. The buzz from the children on race day was fantastic!

"They couldn't wait to put all they had learned and prepared into action!

"The children loved being able to race their cars on our track and were full of ideas to improve their designs for future success."

Ten-year-old Tobi, from Fairfields, who was excited to be part of the project, said: "I am crazy about Formula 1!

"Today has been so cool trying on and seeing F1 memorabilia. This wasn’t just about making race cars – we formed teams with a Team Manager, Design, Graphics and Manufacturer Engineers and we looked at the marketing, sponsors and different themes."

Cezara, 11, said: “It was so fun, I enjoyed it all from designing to crossing the finish line. It was great to speak to other pupils from different schools in the Trust and share our ideas."

F1 in Schools Ltd is a social enterprise working with committed industry partners to provide an exciting yet challenging educational experience through the magnetic appeal of Formula 1.

It raises awareness of STEM and Formula 1 among students and school children in every region, in every country, on every continent.