Pupils at a Bath school have shown off their business skills by securing sponsorship deals from leading companies including Intel and Bugatti when they entered a national Formula One design competition.
The budding entrepreneurs at St Saviour’s Junior Church School in Larkhall enter the ‘F1 in Schools Jaguar Primary Challenge’ every year, designing and building their own mini F1 cars.
This year they went a step further and were challenged by their teachers to secure their own ‘F1 sponsorship deals’, to enable them to brand their cars and their team clothing.
They decided who to contact all by themselves and devised their own approaches to companies in the South West and beyond, all at the same time as working hard to design and build their own cars.
They were overwhelmed to receive the backing of companies including Intel, Bugatti, Full Circle Event, Carvello, Camouflage, JF MOT Centre, Sedcomm, Shindig Festival, Watson Financial, Andy George Renovations of Bath, Twenty Four Seven and Hanayo.
The school has been competing in the F1 Jaguar Primary School Challenge for over a decade and are previous National Champions, winning the entire event in 2011.
This year three of their teams, Team Lightning, Speed Stingers and Flaming Fury, won through to the South West Regional Finals, making them the only school in Bath to do so.
The complex design project challenges pupils to form a team of 3-5 pupils and design a race car out of special card, complete with wheels, body and even a mini driver.
They must design and manufacture a body shell to fit a standard chassis using CAD/CAM template software before printing and cutting their designs onto card and then making their car ready to race.
Teams also created a 10 page design portfolio, a five-minute verbal presentation and a ‘Pit Stop’ to display their work at the regional finals.
At the regional finals, held at Beechen Cliff School, cars were powered by compressed gas cylinders and raced in pairs over a 20m track. As in F1, the day began with a scrutineering session to check that the cars complied with regulations and were safe to race.
Within each team, pupils had assigned themselves roles of Team Manager, Design Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer and Graphic Designer – and named their teams.
Project Leader Cheryl Merrett, who teaches one of the Year Six classes involved, said: “The children always look forward to this project and this year has been no exception.
“Our Year Six teachers are very impressed by all children for their determination and hard work in recent months.”
“We congratulate them on being selected to compete at the regional event and are proud of them for their efforts on the day.
“For many of them, they are able to combine their interests of fast cars with using CAD/CAM technology and enhancing their own skills.”
She added: “A massive part of the project is based on successful teamwork. The children have worked well together, assigning roles, practising verbal presentations, preparing portfolios and creating pit stops.
“An additional challenge for the children this year has been to try and obtain sponsorship for their team. We are very grateful to the companies who have supported our pupils.”