Team Infinitum places third at national finals in F1 in Schools program
Jun 15th, 2012 | By Troy Portser | Category: Front Page, News
June 15, 2012— Team Infinitum from Elizabethtown Area School District placed third at the F1 in Schools USA National Finals in May. Team Infinitum is made up of tenth grader Brian Rupp, and eighth graders Sarah Sellers and Makayla Schaar. Rupp is the team manager and design engineer. Sellers is the resource manager and driver while Schaar is the graphic designer and manufacturing engineer.
Since placing as the Grand Champions at the F1 in Schools PA Regional Finals in March, Team Infinitum redesigned and rebuilt their model car for the national competition. At the national competition held at the Michigan International Speedway, they were judged on their pit display and engineering as well as gave a ten minute verbal presentation. They also raced their car to see how it stacked up against the competition.
By placing third, the team qualified for the F1 in Schools World Finals for the second year in a row. This year they will compete as a collaboration team working in partnership with Team Vitesse from Devonport High Schools for Boys in England. The two teams will work together as a one at the world finals. The first place team at national finals competes at the world finals as a team from just the USA. The second and third place teams compete as collaboration teams. They get paired with the second and third place teams from around the world.
F1 in Schools is an international competition for students ages 9-19 in which teams of three to six students create 1/20th scale models of Formula 1 race cars. The cars are powered by air-filled cartridges and reach speeds of up to 50 mph. 17,000 schools in 38 countries participate in F1 in Schools. Students use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) or Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software to test and improve their designs. Students then use Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) and Computer-Aided Machining (CAM) software to design and manufacture balsa wood cars which are raced over a 20-meter track. Teams also work with sponsors and business partners. Teams are judged on their final car design, engineering development, pit display, teamwork and verbal presentation. The teams compete at regional, national and world levels.
Based on her experience in the F1 in Schools program, Sellers believes she has a career in engineering. “The competition made me realize that engineering is my thing,” said Sellers. “Without F1 in Schools, and without the team’s success, I probably wouldn’t have even considered engineering as potential career.”
Rupp, in his fourth year with F1 in Schools, is impressed by all he has learned as a member of the middle school’s F1 in Schools competition. “I’ve learned so much through these competitions” said Rupp. “I originally joined for the engineering, but I’ve had experience with things like management and teamwork that have been great for me to learn.”
Schaar has been amazed by the F1 program and the people she has met from around the country. “Seeing teams from Regionals and how much they improved shows me how hard every team has worked to get this far in such a little time,” Schaar said. “This gives me an idea of how we can improve so we can succeed at worlds.”