Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Irish schoolchildren unite for F1 in Schools World Finals 17 Sep 2010

Sianide, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland collaboration team. From left to right: Padraig Duffy, Steven McMahon, David Gordon, Brian Turley, Jonathan Bristow and Paul McCaughern. © F1 in Schools Team Synergy at the 2009 F1 in Schools world finals, London, UK The F1 in Schools competing teams. F1 in Schools World Championships 2009, Royal Horticultural Halls, London, England, 17 September 2009.

Next week’s F1 in Schools World Finals in Singapore will be an historic occasion for two Irish schools - one from Northern Ireland and one from the Republic of Ireland - who have come together to create a collaborative team known as SIANIDE.

Schools from different countries regularly link up to form teams for the initiative, which sees children design, manufacture and race miniature Formula One cars. But this collaboration is particularly special considering the long-standing political and religious divisions that have existed between their two countries.

“It is a milestone for F1 in Schools to be initiating this ground-breaking project and proving that education has no boundaries,” said Andrew Denford, F1 in Schools founder and chairman. “It can draw together students from different cultures and backgrounds to learn more about our world and society. These benefits are just as valuable as learning from building an F1 in Schools model car and we are very proud to be inspiring and enriching these students’ lives.”

Although the two schools are just 140 miles apart, bringing together four students from Cambridge House Grammar School, Ballymena, Northern Ireland, and two students from O’Fiaich College, Dundalk, Republic of Ireland, has been a unique opportunity for a cross-boundaries initiative.

“This collaboration has been an education for the students in so many different ways,” says Lynda Somerville, team tutor from Cambridge House. “Although the two countries are separate culturally, the boys have embraced the concept of linking them together for the F1 in Schools World Finals. A very visual outcome of this is the team’s identity, with a logo which integrates the flags of the two countries.”

Jim Friars of the Irish Computer Society, In Country Co-ordinator of F1 in Schools Ireland, added: “The level of support, cooperation and communication within this group is truly amazing. Never did the differences in location, schools processes or policies get in the way of these students keeping their eyes on the prize.

“Cross-border business programmes and initiatives are more important than ever now, helping firms to grow and enabling them to reach their export potential and above all establishing the development of an all-island economy. It’s an example that would lend itself to many cross-board initiatives.”

The World Finals will get underway at Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre from Monday, ahead of next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

For further information on F1 in Schools visit www.F1inSchools.com.