F1 Racing Project at RBIS Secondary

January 20, 2023
YouTube video

On the 13th of January our Secondary students completed an exciting STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) challenge where they got to build a model F1 car and test it on a special track. F1 in Schools is an organisation that operates in many countries and we are proud to have had their team at RBIS. Besides designing and making miniature Formula 1 cars, our students worked in teams to learn about aerodynamics and successful teamwork. Driving simulators were also provided for the children so they could experience car racing in a safe and familiar environment. Congratulations to Plawarn (Y.6), Lepain (Y.11) and Tinton (Y.9) for taking the bronze medals home, to Bianca, Tobias, Emery and Earth who are all from Year 10 for getting silver and to Korn, Emily, Kevin and Hafsa from Year 13 to take gold. It took these teams only 1 to 2 seconds for their car to travel across the 24m racing track, which is absolutely amazing!

STEM is very important at RBIS - why?

STEM is more than just teaching science, mathematics and technology related subjects at school. A STEM-based program integrates scientific knowledge with real-world applications, rather than teaching these subjects separately in isolation.

It often seems intimidating to educators and students alike to think that students must be experts in all STEM fields, but the idea behind STEM is much simpler than that. Instead of being jack-of-all-trades, students focus on harnessing the essential transferable skills relevant to each field. They do this by collaborating and working in teams, in order to learn from each other and solve problems. Problem solving requires the willingness to make mistakes and learning from each iteration to improve and find better solutions to challenges and problems.

What is attractive about a STEM approach to education is that it not only develops students’ social skills by encouraging collaboration and teamwork, but also allows them to be active participants in their own learning. This is in contrast to a traditional top-down approach, where teachers play the role of “subject experts” that pass knowledge down to learners.

STEM makes learning relevant by tying it in with real world applications and letting students explore the same concepts in ways that intrigue them or pique their curiosity. For instance, the concept of radio waves and magnetism can be taught using anti-theft RFID clothing tags as a lesson focus. Students could pry open a clothes tag, explore its components and learn its functions. Eventually, they learn the same concepts, but by exploring where and how it’s practically used, they are much more likely to secure these ideas in their minds.

Teachers facilitate learning by making the aims and objectives clear, providing assistance with research and knowledge application, and regularly measuring student progress using timely data to shape future lessons. Most importantly, teachers help students to become self-directed learners who take responsibility for their own learning.

Benefits of STEM

According to data published by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the top 20 in-demand occupations between 2021-31 include several fields that are STEM dominated, such as nursing, data scientists, web developers and medical and health services managers, to name a few.

Surprisingly (or perhaps, not so surprisingly after all), even professions that are traditionally considered non-STEM require some STEM skills, with employers heavily favouring applicants with at least some STEM training. This is because STEM education fosters ingenuity and creativity, a highly sought-after skill that cannot simply be “taught” but is instead nourished through years of training and encouragement. Additionally, a well-planned STEM curriculum is essential in building resilience, problem-solving skills and teamwork.