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F1 in Schools™ 2012 World Finals - team profiles 27 Sep 2012

F1 in Schools™ logo Ground Force Project from Greece, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists The Penta Gliders Tasmania - F1 in Schools World Champions.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 F1 in Schools™ logo Team logo for Venator F1 from England/USA, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists The Penta Gliders Tasmania - F1 in Schools World Champions.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Panthera F1 from Malaysia, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists F1 in Schools™ logo Team logo for CanroK from Canada/Korea, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists The Penta Gliders Tasmania - F1 in Schools World Champions.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 F1 in Schools display, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, UAE. © F1 in Schools F1 in Schools™ logo BlackBird X from the United Arab Emirates, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists The Penta Gliders Tasmania - F1 in Schools World Champions.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Cold Fusion from Australia, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists F1 in Schools™ logo Blood Elites from the Czech Republic, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists The Penta Gliders Tasmania - F1 in Schools World Champions.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Fast Lane from Wales, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists F1 in Schools™ logo The Sabeg La7eg team from Jordan, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists F1 in Schools™ logo Team Quasar from Ireland, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists F1 in Schools™ logo Team 7th Gear from Bahrain, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists F1 in Schools™ logo Team Shift, USA, 2012 F1 in Schools World Finalists

The eighth F1 in Schools™ World Finals will be held in Abu Dhabi from October 29-31, coinciding with the 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with over 250 students from around the world expected to attend after winning the National Finals in their home countries. The educational initiative sees students use CAD/CAM software to design, build and test a balsawood model F1 car of the future, powered by compressed air, and over the coming weeks we will bring you profiles of the teams involved…

Greece - Ground Force Project
Ground Force Project, a team from Avgoulea-Linardatos School, in Peristeri, Attiki, were the National Champions of the very first Greece F1 in Schools National Finals.

The team was formed back in May 2011 by six 17-years old students, although only two of the original members - Akis Gkirgkis and Jason Grigoropoulos - remain, with the others having to focus on their exams for university admission. Four new members then joined: Eleni Tsoukala, Konstantinos Krimitzas, Chris Nikolaou and Marios Paligiannis.

The pressure is on as the first team to represent their country at an F1 in Schools World Finals. The team’s national success and their upcoming trip to Abu Dhabi for the World Finals has resulted in plenty of national and regional publicity, including an item on Alpha TV and a live interview with the national Greek TV channel, NET.

England/USA - Venator F1
Venator F1 is a collaboration between an English and an American F1 in Schools team, combining Vitesse from Devonport High School for Boys, England and Infinitum from Elizabethtown Area High School in the USA.

They are hoping to become the first collaboration team to win the World Finals and say they have a few tricks up their sleeve. They also claim to be F1 in Schools’ first and only eco-friendly team. They also expect to be the only team in the finals to use a low-drag coating and are committed to educating others about the project. The English team members are ambassadors in their school, running an internal competition that is 50 students strong.

Sadly the US team members are unable to travel to Abu Dhabi and will be represented by the three English team members at the World Finals. The US team will be able to watch via the dedicated web broadcasts produced by Webex for the event.

Malaysia - Panthera F1
Panthera F1, four boys from Penang Free School, is a team founded in early 2011. Despite lacking experience and expertise during the F1 in Schools Regional Finals, the team managed to bag most of the awards offered including Overall Champion, Best Team Sponsorship and Marketing, Best Team Portfolio and Knockout Competition Winners. They also took Fastest Car award after finishing the time trial competition in an outstanding 1.097 seconds.

During the F1 in Schools National Finals, the team’s hard work, commitment and dedication proved fruitful when they were crowned the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge Overall Champion on the final day of the tournament. They also took the Best Research and Development Award as well as Best Engineered Car award.

The team is the first from the northern region of Malaysia to have won their F1 in Schools National Finals.

Canada/Korea - CanroK
CANROK is a collaboration team joining together The Plainsmen from Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in Brandon, Canada and Sunrise from Konkuk University High School in Korea. The team was founded in 2012 to prepare for the World Finals and together became CanroK. In the beginning, differences in language and culture created opposing opinions on such things as the team name, team colours, and team logo. The students overcame these issues through negotiation and compromise. They learned to delegate different responsibilities across the distance, and learned to communicate despite the fourteen hour time difference.

Their magic moment? “Meeting the other half of our team for the first time was a surreal experience for all of us. None of us knew what to expect going into that first meeting and that made the excitement tangible. We discovered many important factors in our collaboration that day. It was revealed very quickly that the language barrier would pose an issue and that translators would be necessary. Seeing our partners, with whom we would be working for almost a year, was a crucial moment in our team’s unity, progress, and ultimately our success. It was truly magical.”

And their funniest moment? “Some of our funniest moments have taken place in communication with one another. It is safe to say relying purely on Google Translate is not the safest bet. There were always many meanings lost in translation, which made the information quite entertaining to read. Also, during school exam week one of the Korean members sent videos to one of Canadian members of him playing the piano, assuring her that it would calm her nerves. In return, she sent a video of herself playing the piano, so that he could hear her play too.”

United Arab Emirates - BlackBird X
BlackBird X, a team from the Indian High School, Dubai, comprises five boys and one girl. Their journey began in December 2008 when their school was introduced to F1 in Schools with a presentation from the UAE F1 in Schools organisers. The team competed at the UAE National Finals in 2009, but they were not successful and resolved to improve their performance. Their efforts began in earnest and the team was rewarded with third place overall in 2010, missing out on a spot at the World Finals by just two points. This near miss gave them the impetus to continue with the team. The original team members joined forces with another team from the school, and together they have reached the 2012 World Finals.

The team say their secret to success is that they have been competing in F1 in Schools for four years and bring a unique mix of experience and enthusiasm. They have a lot to live up to as well, as a team from the school, Zer0.9, were second in the 2010 World Finals. The team also reckon they have a fast car, having recorded a time of 1.009 seconds last year.

Australia - Cold Fusion
Cold Fusion from Brighton Secondary School have a long-running history in Australian F1 in Schools. They first appeared in the national competition back in 2008, representing South Australia, and have been at every national competition since. They are the first team from South Australia to make it to the World Finals.

Since winning the Australian National Finals the team have been in numerous newspapers, congratulated in the National Senate, met Formula One legend Alan Jones, held a promotion evening for sponsors and given a talk to a DT Teachers Association.

Czech Republic - Blood Elites
The team of three boys and one girl is from Secondary Technical School, Kolin and was founded in 2008 with the arrival of F1 in Schools in the Czech Republic. Throughout the competition they tried to acquire new knowledge and experience, with the aim of making it through to the World Finals, which they have now succeeded in doing. The team believe that they excel in their positive approach to their work, particularly with the improvisational and innovative thinking that inspires other teams.

The team’s efforts brought them not only a place at the World Finals, but also a day racing in an F1 simulator. This taught them how to drive an F1 car, as well as being great fun. The dedication of the team in their pursuit of winning was demonstrated at the Czech Republic semifinals, when they had forgotten the posters for their pit display. One of the team members returned to school to fetch them, despite a 600-kilometre round trip. After that the team reckon they won’t be forgetting anything for Abu Dhabi!

Wales - Fast Lane
A team from Ysgol Friars School, Bangor, will represent Wales this year. With three boys and three girls, the team was formed in July 2010. They came second in the Bloodhound Class at the National Final in 2011 and this year, with two awards, won through to the World Finals.

The team are confident that they are one of the leaders in terms in engineering and innovation, and believe that their integrity, teamwork and performance make their team unique. They aim to be the first Welsh team crowned F1 in Schools World Champions.

The team has a marketing partnership with Gwion Prys, a talented young welsh motorcycle endurance rider, currently in training for the Dakar Rally 2014.

Jordan - Sabeg La7eg
The team from Jublilee School, Amman, was founded in 2010 and participated in the first F1 in Schools Jordan in 2011, when they took third place overall. However, they didn't qualify to participate in that year’s World Finals so they set themselves a goal to keep working hard. It all paid off in the 2012 competition when they secured first place and with it the right to represent Jordan in the World Finals in Abu Dhabi.

The team say that it has been a really exciting experience for them, through which they have learnt many new technical and engineering skills, and which has helped them improve their interpersonal skills in team work and management. Their participation in the Abu Dhabi World Finals marks the first time that Jordan has been represented.

Ireland - Team Quasar
Team Quasar are from St. Ailbe’s School in Tipperary, Ireland, a town probably best known for the song, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, which is 100 years old. It’s so famous in fact, the town is staging a festival this year to mark its centenary!

Team members Sinead Cummins (Team Manager), Maeve O’Gorman (Marketing and Communications Manager), Gerard Barlow (Manufacturing Engineer), Megan Cleary (Resource Manager) and Deirbhle Hennessy (Graphic Designer) are working hard with their preparations to go to the World Finals.

They have even set up their own website, with a fundraising draw with tickets purchasable online and some superb prizes including a Football Association of Ireland Family Season Ticket and a two-night hotel break in Cork.

The team reckon they’ll be strong opposition, citing the popular quote, ‘You’ll never beat the Irish,’ to back up their bold claim.

Bahrain - Team 7th Gear
Team 7th Gear comprises five boys from St Christopher’s School in Bahrain and with all five members being only 13 years-old, they are the youngest team at the World Finals. The team was formed in 2010, instigated by the Team Manager, Shawn Amirthan, and that year they took second place. They then went on to win their National Finals and earned a place at the World Finals.

The team recognizes that experience is key to success, so they have kept their line-up unchanged and consolidated their teamwork. They are looking to build on their success, learning from their mistakes and, with a little luck, hopefully triumphing. Their distinctive yellow and black uniforms ensure that this team won’t be missed.

USA - Team Shift
The all-girl Team Shift has students from two schools, Wheeler High School and Campbell High School, both in Marietta, Georgia. They have already experienced an F1 in Schools World Finals, having been in a collaboration team last year with Carbon Racing from Germany. As with many teams, Kelly Fitzgerald, Anna Awald, Claire McCoy and Sabine Saldanha have been working on their project in their own time, after school in a garage.

As USA F1 in Schools National Champions, the team has been out and about showcasing their achievements and supporting their sponsors. One of these, Women in Technology, invited them to a business conference, where the team gave a speech, and presented them with a cheque for US$10,000 to help with their funds for the World Finals. Then, the crowd ‘passed the hat’ and raised a further US$1,400.

More team profiles will be added to this article over the coming weeks.

For more information on F1 in Schools, see www.f1inschools.com
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