F1 STEM

First Saudi teams to compete in F1 STEM initiative in world finals

Saudi Arabia has announced the first teams from the Kingdom to compete in the Aramco F1 in Schools World Finals.

First Saudi teams to compete in F1 STEM initiative in world finals

Saudi Arabia has announced the first teams from the Kingdom to compete in the Aramco F1 in Schools World Finals. In the competition’s KSA debut, the local culmination at the Dhahran hub, the Technology Advancement and Prototyping Center (TACC) at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), saw the SLK Racing team take pole position, followed by teams Coalition and Arion, who tied for the second spot. The teams will represent the Kingdom at the World Finals in London in July 2022. 

The F1 in Schools program is a global educational initiative by Formula One, which brings the sport into the classroom, delivering exciting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities, and inspiring the next generation to embrace careers in these fields. The challenge is open to students aged 9-19, who work in teams of three to six to design and manufacture a miniature car out of an official F1 model block using CAD/CAM design tools. 

The world’s largest STEM challenge saw more than 26,000 schools in 52 countries participating. The students were judged in five categories: specification and scrutineering, including drawings, 3D renders, and the quality of finish and assembly; design and engineering; project management; enterprise; and verbal presentation, including technique, composition and subject matter. In the racing component, teams were scored on the time trials, and could earn an additional Fastest Car Bonus. 

SLK Racing’s group leader, Ghalia Alshehayeb, said she’s been exposed to STEM through schools, while also learning about biology and physics in her free time. “I really wanted to join this program as I saw F1 and physics and formulating this car as nothing short of interesting. I’ve loved the concept ever since I was a kid, through exposure at school and social media. It has piqued my interest and made me want to major in physics and engineering divisions.”

Ithra created a training hub in collaboration with KFUPM and TACC to train, mentor, and support the local participants and prepare them for the national competition and world finals. 

Through F1 in Schools, Ithra continues to encourage and engage a new generation of innovators to lead the Kingdom’s industries of tomorrow through hands-on diverse learning opportunities in creative and innovation focused fields. Ashraf Fagih, Ithra’s head of Programs said: “Ithra has been a major hub of STEM-based initiatives since Day-1, and F1 in Schools has an impressive historic record in directing school students to careers related to science and engineering disciplines. In this first cycle of F1 in Schools in Saudi Arabia, Ithra has collaborated with KFUPM to host the training hub. This alignment between two of the most prominent cultural and educational institutions in the region, assures utmost levels of inspiration, creativity, and quality in delivery.”

Andrew M. Denford, founder and chair of the F1 in Schools initiative, praised the Kingdom’s efforts, saying, “This hub will be an amazing showcase for countries around the world and a model to follow globally.”

In 2020, Aramco became the title sponsor for the competition’s world finals. It will also be the title sponsor for the challenge’s Saudi chapter. 

Students can learn more about and register for the Aramco F1 in Schools challenge by visiting www.f1inschools.com. 

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