Formula 1 in schools
The English School, Nicosia
F1 in schools is an international competition in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields for school children, organized every year in a different country since it was first held in the UK in 1999. Groups of three to six students have to design and manufacture a miniature “car” out of the official Formula 1 Model Block using Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools. According to the organizers, “The competition’s aim was and still is, to introduce younger people to Engineering in a more fun environment.” Cyprus is one of the 40 participating countries.
During 2016, team ‘Blaze Racing Team’ from The English School, Nicosia was the Cypriot team that managed to reach the worlds’ finals, held in the USA. The team was made up from six students, specialized in Physics, Maths and Design and Technology. As Petros Xenophontos explains, who was the leader of the team, the term ‘blaze’ emphasizes on the idea of a burning fire, which resembles the team’s aspiration for the winning prize.
Coordinator teacher of the team, Stelios Theodosiou, is also the Head of Design and Technology Department of the school . Due to his experience from teaching in the UK in the past, he managed to introduce and also apply successfully modern teaching methods and techniques from the UK to Cyprus. As the students describe, their approachable and knowledgeable teacher is what motivated the team to participate and go forward with the competition.
Panayiotis Salatas and Andreas Antoniades, the Design Engineer and Manufacture Engineer respectively, both mentioned that it was a life-time experience. In addition, while being one of the most demanding and stressful tasks in their student life, it was also very rewarding, as they gained a lot of practical and hands-on expertise. Kornilios Kyriakides, the Resource Manager, said that he enjoyed every second of working along with his fellow classmates and friends. Alexia Christoforou, the only girl in the team and also responsible for Graphics Design, expressed her gratitude for working as a member of such a dynamic and dedicated team.
Furthermore, Odysseas Petrou, the Sponsorship Manager, explains that sponsorship is a challenging, but an integral part of the competition. It is an element of the contest which makes it closer to a real life project. In their way of identifying sponsors, an important aspect was the use of Technology and in particular, modern methods of Digital Marketing in order to capture the necessary analytics and the data to prove their exposure to the public.
As a matter of fact, one of their gold sponsors, ‘3D Makers’ were actually so excited that apart from sponsorship, they also invested time of their personnel to mentor the team and help with the 3D Printing due to their expertise. Melios Lemesianos and Marios Pieri, the two Directors of the company actually felt sorry that such competitions are not widespread in Cyprus. So they promised to bring the competition to the next level by investing also to the national finals this year, with the goal of involving as many schools as possible, as they strongly believe in and want to support the Cypriot youth talent.
The team after the end of the world finals feels proud for respectfully representing Cyprus at such an international venue and most importantly for what they call the ‘Blaze legacy’. The meaning of this is that they are more than willing to mentor the future teams of the school in order to make sure the same mistakes will not be repeated and better results will be achieved. This carries a hopeful message for the younger generation in Cyprus and the future of our country.
Finally, the team would like to express their many thanks to their teachers, their sponsors, including the school and also to their friends and family for their support. In addition, they would like to express their gratitude towards the Cypriot experts in various fields, such as 3D Printing, Product Design and Automotive Engineering who supported and motivated them all the way in this journey.
More information regarding the Cypriot team at F1 in schools can be found at: http://www.blazeracingteam.com
and more information regarding the F1 World Finals can be found at:
We are grateful to Stelios Theodosiou, Head of Department for Design and Technology at English School (Nicosia) for providing us with the relevant information needed to write this article. We would like to wish him all the best in the future. Credits should also be given to the “Blaze Racing team” for material presented in this article.