Ahead of Western Sydney’s engineering jobs boom created by the future Aerotropolis, TAFE NSW is helping local high school students gear up for a career in engineering by hosting an international STEM challenge where students design, build and race a model Formula One car.
F1 in Schools, the world’s most competitive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition, involves more than 17,000 schools across 44 countries.
Students from local high schools battled it out in a virtual F1 race at TAFE NSW Mount Druitt last week against four other high schools in Western Sydney. As part of the challenge, TAFE NSW teachers equipped students with hands-on skills to build a race car using the latest 3D solid modelling, virtual analysis, and CNC software in the TAFE NSW Mount Druitt specialist CAD design lab.
The need for STEM skills will continue to be an important focus for the future, reinforced by the recent announcement of joint task force by TAFE NSW and four leading universities to prioritise training in high-demand Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related trades and professions around Western Sydney’s future Aerotropolis.
The Aerotropolis is predicted to create more than 200,000 new jobs for Western Sydney by establishing a new jobs hub for industries including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, defence and agribusiness.
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Michael Cullen, said the STEM challenge provided students with access to the latest industry technology and engineering design software.
“High school students were taught the practical skills to manage the project, develop a marketing and brand strategy, and complete an industry-standard portfolio detailing the engineering process behind their racecar,” Mr Cullen said.
“Many students and parents don’t always have information about potential STEM careers and the F1 in Schools Challenge allows them to not just see what is out there, but to actually experience it.”
Re-Engineering Australia Founder and CEO, Dr Michael Myers said, “The F1 in School STEM Challenge is one of the most extensive STEM programs in the world and Australia has approximately 25,000 students compete each year in the national competition.
“The program mimics industry and the world of a Formula One with the student teams following the same design, analyse, test, make and appraise cycle used in F1 and manufacturing organisations around the world. It’s wonderful to have the event organised by TAFE NSW Mount Druitt as it helps students understand their potential for success and their options for further study,” Dr Myers said.
Due to COVID-19, the regional F1 race was live-streamed for the first time in the history of the competition. Winners from the event will now go on to the NSW State Finals in October. This year, 26 teams competed in the event from the following schools:
Blue Mountains Grammar School
Pacific Hills Christian School
Penrith Christian School
Parramatta Marist High School
Prairiewood High School
TAFE NSW offers a variety of courses in engineering and manufacturing including electrical, mechanical, fitting and machining, and fabrication and welding and skill levels ranging from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma. To find out more about studying Engineering, Manufacturing or Technology at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211.