In just over two weeks the Australian National Finals of our F1 in Schools competition will be happening in Melbourne. In the United Kingdom the Finals will be held on 1st– 2nd April at the Bristol Aerospace Museum and representing the Valley Gardens Middle School from the North East part of England will be the all-girl team, the SuffraJETS.
The five member team was formed after the girls went to an industrial cadet’s experience and really enjoyed themselves. Their team name comes from the Suffragettes movement of the early 20th century, where women fought for the right to vote in public elections.
The team consists of Adelle – Team/Finance Manager, who looks after the money and keeps the team together so everyone knows what they are doing. “I have learnt a lot about how to lead and improved my engineering knowledge and both of these skills could help me with my future employment,” said Adelle when I asked what she has gained from her F1 in Schools experience so far.
Maia – Team/Social Media Manager helps out Adelle with team management activities and also makes sure the team is active on social media. “I feel my leadership skills have improved as the competition has progressed and I am also looking toward a career in engineering,” said Maia who has also just completed the team’s website www.suffajets.co.uk
Orla – Sponsorship Manager is responsible for sourcing sponsors to purchase merchandise, uniforms and other necessities for the team. Orla has learnt a lot about engineering and is considering it as a possible career now as well.
The sponsors of the SuffraJETS team include Nissan who 3D printed their car for them and Custer Design produced their uniforms for them. Soroptimist work to improve the lives of women and girls and they sponsored the team to encourage more girls into STEM careers.
Rachel – Design/Manufacturing Engineer has been responsible for the design of the car with research and input from the other team members. The team have been to visit Nissan who helped with the building of the car. “I have learnt a lot of new skills that I can use to become an engineer in the future,” said Rachel. This is one of the key outcomes of the F1 in Schools programme, encouraging more students to pursue a career in STEM fields.
Darcie – Graphic Designer has been responsible for creating the team uniforms and pit displays, which are an important component of how the team are judged in the competition. Darcie told me that she has also learnt a lot about engineering and how to work in a team, both excellent skills for future employment opportunities.
The road to the Finals has involved the SuffraJETS establishing their brand and garnering social media followers, practising their presentations and creating portfolios. Of course their car has had to be designed and 3D printed. The Team got to the regional competition after a lot of work, raced their car and they had a great experience. “We then went to the award ceremony and were shocked by the results of us getting through to Nationals!” they said afterwards.
F1 in Schools is a social enterprise working with committed industry partners to provide an exciting yet challenging educational experience through the magnetic appeal of Formula 1. F1 in Schools is the only truly global educational programme that raises awareness of STEM and Formula 1 among students and school children in every region, in every country, on every continent. Visit the global F1 in Schools website for more information about you can be involved in this year’s competition.
Photograph by SuffraJETS.