The Tumut High F1 for Schools team is gearing up to enter the Professional Class of the international competition, after they dominated the Cadet Class last year – taking out first, second, and third in the state.
The first round of competition isn’t until September 14, kicking off with the regional section, but to enter at all takes an enormous amount of work. The boys have been voluntarily staying at school until 5pm every Wednesday this year perfecting the design of their cars.
“Now we’re adding Mondays as well, along with our own time at home,” said team member Corey Crain, who has put in an estimated 50 hours already into designing the 3D printed car.
“There’s currently seven versions of the car, which we’ve been testing and prototyping so we can pick out the best of each car and combine them together.”
To enter the professional class they have to not only design a miniature F1 car that will beat all the other cars and print it using a CnC Router, but they also have to put together a 40 A3 page folio explaining their scientific process; prepare a verbal presentation; and design and build an industry booth with a television and glass and perspex construction that showcases their marketing skills.
They also need to build relationships with sponsors to pay for all of this, and businesses who think they might be able to offer funding or know-how are encouraged to contact them through their website, iotaracing.net, or to call Tumut High School.
“This is a Tumut team, not just a school team,” said Tumut High teacher and team mentor Bill Crain.
“We’re hoping this will gather some pride within the community, that the first team within the region to compete is Tumut High. We’re hoping businesses will offer their expertise in marketing, graphic design, management, industrial design, engineering, CnCing, and so on.”
Miraculously, the herculanean task ahead of them isn’t phasing the boys.
“I’m not too nervous about entering the higher class, but there’s a lot more work,” said team member Bronson Sutton.
“Designing the car involves a lot of physics, specifically fluid dynamics, which is a step up from what we learn in class – so we have to put time in to understand how that fluid dynamics works and how to make our car aerodynamic.”
If the team progresses through the regional finals then they will proceed to state, then nationals, and then world.
However, Tumut High does have one advantage – they spent some of their Gonski money on an miniature F1 track and CnC Router, to encourage students to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, through programs like this.
It’s the only one in the Riverina, meaning other competing schools like Temora and Wagga need to travel here to test their cars.
“We were extremely lucky to get that funding,” said Mr Crain.