CQUni Mackay ‘rolls out’ state wide STEM skills car comp

Published:23 October 2018

TOP: Mackay Christian College team members Jarrod Wallace, Rhys Davies, John Arcega and Gert Prinsloo competed in the 2018 Queensland State Final of the F1 in Schools STEM Challenge held at CQUni Mackay. BELOW: Holy Spirit College students William Mweign, Markus Ackerman, Edwin Joe and Lachlan Mattes took part in F1 in Schools at CQUni Mackay.

About 100 high school students from across Queensland experienced life in the fast lane when they created, presented and raced model cars for the 2018 Queensland State Final of the F1 in Schools STEM Challenge hosted by CQUni Mackay's Ooralea Campus.

Event Director Deborah Maloney said more than a third of the teams competing were from the Mackay region, with two Mackay Christian College teams – Quantum Overload (Year 7-10) and NitroGen3 (Year 8) claiming victory.

Quantum Overload will now go on to compete in the National Final,andthe Australian winner will progress to the World Final.

Additionally, third place-getters – Mackay Christian College’s Dynamic Flow (a development-class team) will also progress to the National Final on a wildcard invitation.

“Each team was judged across 11 criteria – including car speed, CAD, manufacturing, design process, project management, portfolio design, marketing, trade display and verbal presentations – over the two-day event,” she explained.

“Teams invest hundreds of hours into designing and making their miniature F1 racers and producing detailed engineering portfolios and associated multi-media pit displays and marketing.

“Interestingly, Australia is the number one ranked country in the world for F1 in Schools at the international level, having had teams crowned World Champions six times in 15 years.”

Competition judge and Engineering Lecturer Brendan Donnelly said he and fellow CQUni lecturers were honoured to play a role in this event.

“This incredible competition motivates students to master complex 3D computer software and special applications such as virtual wind-tunnel testing, along with industry-standard manufacturing equipment,” he said.

“As the Queensland judges, our CQUni lecturers witnessed many advanced F1 prototypes, and we were all certainly impressed with the quality of entries all students produced.”

Each year, 40,000 students in Australia and nine million students worldwide are involved in F1 in Schools.

“CQUni is honoured to support an event that promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics locally, nationally and globally – especially one as unique, fun and exciting as F1 in Schools,” Mr Donnelly added.

F1 in Schools was introduced by not-for-profit social enterprise, Re-Engineering Australia Foundation – pioneered by engineer Dr Michael Myers OAM – in 2003.

“Our goal is to inspire and equip young people to become highly employable and enable them to take on the world; to contribute to creating a reputation for Australia as a revered Innovation Centre in the Global Village,” Dr Myers said.