Formula One in schools has partnered with Autodesk to offer students participating in the F1 in Schools programme free access to the company’s professional 3D design software.
“Being able to offer free Autodesk 3D CAD software for all schools around the globe is going to take the F1 in Schools programme to another level and also for schools, it opens a whole new world for them and puts it into their classrooms,“ said Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools.
The F1 in School project, which is backed by the IET, challenges students from all over the world to design a scale model of a futuristic Formula One car. The models, usually built from balsa wood and powered by a compressed-air cylinder, then compete in regional finals racing over a 20m test track.
Speaking at the launch of the new partnership was Oliver Letwin, the UK’s Minister for Government Policy, who stressed the importance of inspiring young people to study STEM disciplines and the role of the F1 in Schools project in such undertaking.
“If we are going to succeed, we don’t just need science, we need engineering – engineering in its widest sense – stretching all the way from things that are being done to revolutionise medicine through to cars,” Letwin said. “We have to be at the top if we want to compete effectively. This means having a ready supply of the most able, energetic and most efficient people in Britain in engineering fields ready to serve our industries and take them forwards and convert into products and services.”
Currently, F1 in Schools reaches more than 20 million students in 40 countries and addresses students between 9 and 19 years of age.
“We know how important it is to get young people interested in engineering,” said the IET’s chief executive Nigel Fine. “The IET Skills Survey launched last month showed that employers continued to struggle to recruit the engineering, IT and technical staff with the skills that they are looking for. So we are definitely faced with the problem of not having enough skilled people at all levels to meet demand. To address this problem we do need to find ways to encourage more bright young people into engineering education and careers.”
F1 in schools is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to become the only global educational programme raising awareness of the technology behind Formula One among students and school children worldwide.