The Jaguar F1 Team in Schools CAD/CAM Challenge was introduced to raise awareness of the engineering field among students. Employing a five-step process, the standards-based challenge gives students access to the latest technology in the engineering and manufacturing world.
Students from middle school through high school are presented with the challenge to design a 1:20 scale Formula One car using contemporary technologies. Major companies, including the international founding partners Jaguar, BAE Systems, Denford and Pitscoare, providing sponsorships and products to make this challenge a success. The processes that students follow mirror those used in the industry and help students understand not only processes but also academic applications.
CAD encourages students to think, explore and visualize their ideas in three dimensions, using features such as complex curve modeling and surface rendering along with more traditional orthographic presentations.
CFD allows analysis of car design computer models with regard to aerodynamic efficiency. This allows designers to make changes to their designs in the virtual world prior to proceeding to the actual making of a product.
CAM creates an environment in which the CAD designs can be developed and prepared for automated manufacturing processes.
CNC machines take processed CAD drawings and are used to manufacture the finished products. The students typically use small CNC routers to manufacture their balsa wood F1 cars. T & I, testing and inspection processes, use wind tunnels, scales, pressure gages and velocity meters that test the final product. Results may be compared to the predicted outcome projected through virtual analysis prior to making the product.
Teams made up of three to six students compete in regional, state and national competitions. The national final was held in conjunction with the national Technology Student Association conference this June in Nashville, Tennessee. The winning team from the national final will compete in England in October against finalists from 12 countries. In the competitions, the students race their cars, but more importantly, they compete by presenting their engineering findings in verbal presentations and graphic displays. Judged by professionals from engineering fields, including student engineering associations, the students are scored based on their engineering prowess, quality of build and tolerance to specifications.
Originating in England in 1999, more than 25,000 students in the United States and the United Kingdom now take advantage of the challenge, which applies math, science, communication and technological skills. It is an engaging and fun way for young people to get involved in engineering. For more details about the challenge, visit www.f1inschools.us and contact your local schools to see if they are participating.