A qualification to help bridge the gap between school and work was officially launched at the F1 in Schools finals in Singapore yesterday (Sept 15) attracting international interest.
EAL product specialist Andy Barton presented the new Level 1 Foundation Certificate to delegates from the UK and around the world at the F1 in Schools Finals being held in Singapore ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.
F1 in Schools is a national and international competition that tasks teams of students to design, test, manufacture and race a scale model Formula 1 car. The programme is run in over 44 countries with regional and national finals events. Winners from each National Final compete at the highest level, the F1 in Schools World Finals, vying for the F1 in Schools World Champions title, the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy, scholarships to City University London and bursaries for UCL Mechanical Engineering.
Andy Barton, who is also one of the competition judges, joined Nissan, NAC and F1 in Schools to jointly present the curriculum offer to 47 teams from 22 countries.
“There was a lot of interest and positive reaction as to how the EAL qualification can help bridge the gap between school and work, preparing youngsters for employment,” he said. “Delegates from many countries, including China, Austria, Botswana and the USA all left with a pack outlining how the qualification works. It went down very well.”
Specialist awarding organisation EAL is pioneering a raft of new initiatives to drive vocational pathways to work into schools – giving younger pupils the tools that they need to embark on a rewarding career.
The deal is the first struck by the company’s new Head of Commercial Development, Natalie Wilson.
“EAL’s partnership with F1 in Schools reflects our determination to drive vocational qualifications into the classroom”, said Natalie.
“The F1 in Schools Technology Challenge provides an exciting yet challenging educational experience through the magnetic appeal of Formula One. Teams of learners aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature compressed air powered polyurethane based F1 cars.
“The challenge inspires learners to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.”
EAL’s Level 1 Foundation Certificate in Engineering Technology has three optional units (Introduction to Computer Aided Drawing (CAD), Introduction to Computer Aided Machining (CAM) and Introduction to Engineering project planning) mapped to F1 in Schools activities, helping learners achieve the qualification through activities that would otherwise not be officially recognised.
Natalie added: “Every pupil taking part in this truly inspirational competition will have the chance to gain a meaningful qualification which could set them off on the right track in life.”
F1 in Schools Founder and Chairman, Andrew Denford hailed the agreement as ‘ground-breaking’; "The magnetic appeal of F1 provides the spark to inspire a new generation of great British engineers through the F1 in Schools programme.
“Thanks to EAL, students participating in F1 in Schools not only benefit from the challenge of the competition, but can also gain a landmark qualification which will be invaluable to them as they progress into further education and their careers.“
Participating schools can utilise one of 15 ‘Make and Race Centres’ - hubs where their designs are manufactured and raced under controlled conditions.
Managing Director of EAL, Julia Chippendale, said: “EAL believes in stimulating the imagination of young people – to awaken their drive, ambition and abilities to realise their true potential."
“This project is the perfect platform to do just that.”