F1 in Schools

Scores of Saudi students descend on Ithra for F1 in Schools National Championships

The winners of the 10-day event will represent the Kingdom later this year at the F1 in Schools Aramco World Championships.

Scores of Saudi students descend on Ithra for F1 in Schools National Championships

One-hundred-twenty students representing 20 teams from six cities across the Kingdom will be vying to take the checkered flag at the F1® in Schools National Championships set to kick off tomorrow (July 4) at the King Abdulaziz World Cultural Center (Ithra) in Dhahran. 


At stake is the opportunity to represent Saudi Arabia in the global competition scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia later this year. The initiative is part of Ithra’s mission to engage, inspire, and excite Saudi Arabia’s youth to lead the industries of tomorrow. 


Participating students are challenged and inspired through a STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning program covering topics such as physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacturing, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership, teamwork, media skills and financial strategy all applied in a Formula 1® context as they design, manufacture, and race F1®-based model cars.


In its third cycle, the F1® in Schools program in Saudi Arabia was expanded to six cities this year including Dhahran, al-Hasa, Riyadh, Jiddah, Madinah and Abha, targeting students between the ages of 15 and 16 years old who have spent the past six months developing their prototypes under the supervision of 38 professionals from across the Kingdom.  


All that preparation comes to a head during the national competition which will see team submissions reviewed and winners selected by an international and regional panel of judges. 


With a shared commitment to serving as an incubator of education and youth empowerment, Ithra and F1 in Schools offer young people the knowledge and experiential spaces to develop their ambition and skills to create a bright future for themselves and their country.
— Maha Abdulhadi, head of F1 Schools at Ithra


“We are excited to host these promising young students, their families and visitors from across the country as the competition shifts gears,” Abdulhadi said.


Three Saudi teams will be selected to represent the Kingdom and join those representing 40 other participating countries in the Aramco F1® in Schools World Final.

From the grandstand

The 10-day event has plenty on offer for those not in the race with a series of family workshops, interactive events, and food experiences that fall under the theme of Formula 1. These include a Paper Car Making Workshop, Mixed Reality Pit Garage, Car Lego Station, F1® Car Simulators, as well as a Plastic Waste to the Racetrack session that reflects the global commitment to meet sustainability targets by using plastic waste to create an F1-car model. 


“Champions and a Story” will provide visitors an opportunity to hear inspiring stories from Formula 1 experts, while Ithra’s “F1® Driver Tunnel’ will showcase Formula 1® driver suits. 


Growing legacy

Since its launch in 2016, Ithra has established a glowing reputation as a leading Saudi institution that serves to ignite cultural curiosity, expand knowledge, and inspire creativity through the power of ideas, imagination and innovation.  


First partnering with F1® in Schools in 2021, Ithra is responsible for running the national level competition in Saudi Arabia, spearheading the launch of several learning hubs across the Kingdom to facilitate the training and development of students in the challenge. 


In 2023, Ithra hosted the country’s first F1® in Schools National Finals, which saw 16 teams compete with a 68% female representation. Three of the teams went on to represent Saudi Arabia at last year’s World Finals in Singapore, where Team Oryx was presented with the prestigious Innovative Thinking Award. 


For more information about F1 in Schools and the national championship program visit https://www.ithra.com.


Caption for top photo: Participants in the F1 in Schools program submit to a STEAM-based learning program, and then compete by designing, manufacturing, and racing F1-based model cars.


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