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E-Town’s Ninja’s Racing Wins F1 In Schools National Championship

May 17th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page, News

The Ninja Team from E-town celebrates their national championship with the F1 in Schools founder Andrew Denford at Michigan International Speedway (l-r) Andrew Denford, Kalyssa Pottgeiser, Brian McMinn, and Garrett Jenkins.

The Ninja Team from E-town celebrates their national championship with the F1 in Schools founder Andrew Denford at Michigan International Speedway (l-r) Andrew Denford, Kalyssa Pottgeiser, Brian McMinn, and Garrett Jenkins.

May 16, 2011— The Ninja’s, a team of middle school students from Elizabethtown Area Middle School, has captured the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) USA F1 In Schools National Championship. The national championship team consisted of Garrett Jenkins, team resource manager; Kalyssa Pottgeiser, design engineer and graphic designer; Brian McMinn, design engineer and manufacturing engineer; and Terry Bupp-Petersheim, faculty advisor. The team also was awarded the trophy for Fastest Car with an elapsed time of 1.101 second down the 80 foot track.

Team Raptor from East Cobb Middle School in Marietta, Georgia finished in second place with Team Volt from Lord Botetourt High School in Virginia capturing the Third Place Award. The two day F1 In Schools competition saw more than 50 students in 12 teams from six states compete over two days at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The event ran in conjunction with the Formula SAE event.

“This is really amazing,” stated Garrett Jenkins, the surprised, twelve-year-old Team Manager for the winning Ninja’s team. “This competition taught me a lot about teamwork and new ideas for designs. His teammate Brian McMinn looks to the future and reflected, “I was thinking about becoming an Aerospace Engineer and now I am seriously considering it after this experience.”

As a result of their first and second place USA National win at the F1 in Schools event supported by SAE International, Ninja’s and Team Raptor are eligible to compete at the F1 in Schools World Finals, which will be held in Malaysia in September 2011.

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman of F1 in Schools, made the trip from the United Kingdom along with F1 in Schools Director of Communications and Events Dave Howes. Denford said of this year’s entrants, “Every year we see more innovative, more professional, more sophisticated presentations at the National Finals and once again the teams have raised the bar. My congratulations go to Ninja’s for taking the USA National title. This team and all of the students put tremendous effort into their entries which is a testament to their determination to succeed in this technology education program.

“We’ve witnessed the best young engineering talent at this year’s finals and I’m sure that many of them will consider a career in industry, which makes me very proud. We are already seeing F1 in Schools ‘graduates’ taking roles in the Automotive and Formula One sectors, as well as using the initiative to stand out from the crowd in their efforts to win University places and, ultimately, positions within industry.”

Six other student teams took home trophies at the Awards ceremony including Team Dynamite from Ohio who won the Best Team Sponsorship and Marketing; Pirate Racing from Florida who won Best Verbal Presentation; PA Hardcore from Pennsylvania who won the Best Portfolio Award; Nova Racing from PSJA North in Texas who won the Best Team Identity; Team Raptor from East Cobb Middle School who won the award for Best Use of SolidWorks software; and Team Viper Strike from Indian Lake High School who captured the award for Best Engineered Car.

F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of engineering, science and technology by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in Mathematics, Engineering, Science and Technology. Students are given a brief to design a model compressed powered F1 Car of the future using CAD/CAM. Cars are then manufactured on a CNC machine. Each team of between three and six students, brings together their work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car, which is raced on a specially designed test track.

At the National Finals each team brought along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 80 foot track, with the F1 In Schools cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Championships.
The F1 in Schools National Finals take place with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters including the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE), Pitsco, Solidworks and Denford Manufacturing.

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