All-girls F1 in Schools team gains Momentum towards the National Finals in 2020

In October this year, Momentum, an all-girls F1 in Schools team representing Albert Park College, competed at the 2019 F1 in Schools Victorian State Finals at Scienceworks. Momentum was the only all-girls team at the Victorian State Finals and they came second in Development Class and won Best Verbal Presentation and Best Portfolio for their class. They will now go on to the National Finals being held 9th-13th March 2020.

The aim of the F1 in Schools competition is to provide students with a project that exposes them to STEM outside school.  Momentum presented their work from the competition to judges from various industries. This was done via an exhibition booth, presentations and interviews. Momentum also met other teams from several other schools from around the State and the Competition brought them new friends and connections within the competitive arena.

The Victorian State finalist team consisted of Caroline Tan-Wong, Emily Morgan, Ami Farthing and Ruby Wyant and as an all-girls team Momentum are an example of what girls can achieve in STEM. Their goal is to promote education for women and show girls that they can do STEM!

From left to right – Ruby Wyant, Ami Farthing, Caroline Tan-Wong, and Emily Morgan standing beside their exhibition booth.

Caroline is Momentum’s Team Manager and she was responsible for the financial aspects of the project. Caroline contacted businesses to secure sponsors and charities and continues to work with the sponsors and organises the team’s main events. Caroline also helped create the content for all of Momentum’s documents and records the meeting minutes.

“As Team Manager the F1 in Schools Competition has taught me how to manage finances, project management, compromise better, the value of working as a team and the importance of stakeholder engagement,” said Caroline. Some areas that would be particularly suited to these skills would be business, a leadership role or as a project manager.

Ami is Momentum’s Manufacturing Engineer and she was responsible for the manufacturing of the car. Ami sanded, painted and finalised the car after it was machined. Ami also learnt to understand the machining process and researched the best materials for the job.

“Throughout the competition, I have learnt a lot about aerodynamics, painting, sanding and most importantly, teamwork,” said Ami.

The skills Ami has picked up throughout the project includes research into different materials, painting, sanding, rendering the balsa wood blocks and the manufacturing of the car. These skills would be useful in careers that require different materials and processes including architecture and civil engineering.

Ruby, Momentum’s Graphic Designer, was in charge of the team’s visual representations. Ruby formatted and designed promotional materials including brochures, business cards, logo and assisted in the development and structure of the portfolios. Ruby was also in charge of social media and worked closely with the other team members to perform the social media management.

“I have learnt many skills such as graphic design and website design and I gained experience in working with the industry professionally on a long term project,” said Ruby. Some of the skills Ruby has developed during the competition included colour theory, marketing, how to use different programs and creating websites. These skills would be useful in careers such as graphic design, website design, communications, marketing and advertising.

Momentum’s Design Engineer, Emily, designed the car using Autodesk Fusion 360 and worked with industry professionals to understand the principles of aerodynamics and how to design the car so that it was innovative and functional. Emily designed two prototypes and after both virtual and physical testing, the design was altered to create their final car design. Emily also worked closely with Ami to help prepare the final car.

“I have found that I am interested in engineering and would like to possibly pursue it as a career,” said Emily. She has learnt how to use CAD software, innovation, the engineering design process, aerodynamics and its significance, and problem solving. These skills would be useful for someone who wanted to go into engineering, software programming and many other STEM careers.

From left to right – Jack Kormas (Managing Director of Textron Systems Australia), Ruby Wyant, Caroline Tan-Wong, Emily Morgan, Ami Farthing, and Jonathan Perry (Engineer at Textron Systems Australia).

Momentum have secured sponsorship from their local member and Minister for Creative Industries, the Hon Martin Foley MP, RMIT University, Textron Systems Australia (an aerospace company headquartered in Victoria with a focus on defence), Ford Motor Company, and Applied Automation & Engineering (a specialist manufacturer). 

Throughout the competition the whole team has developed skills in problem solving, project management, organisation, collaboration, the importance of communication, presentation, teamwork, innovation, self-promotion, marketing and entrepreneurship. Every team member grew with the skills associated in their roles; however they all helped each other with tasks, which lead to them broadening their understanding of the project.

Momentum has learnt many skills throughout the F1 in Schools Competition and has shown people that girls can do STEM! The State Finals were a great learning curve and have helped them to prepare for the National Finals. Next year Momentum will be competing in the 2020 National Finals against teams from all around Australia, but they would like to see more girls and mixed teams taking on the competition.

If you are interested in competing in the F1 in Schools competition, please contact Re-Engineering Australia Foundation.

Photographs by Momentum.