Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare – Australian students race to victory

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today congratulated Australia’s F1 in Schools world champions – the PentaGliders from Brooks High School in Tasmania.

The PentaGliders competed against schools from around the world in what has become the biggest science and technology competition in the world.

Three Australian teams were selected to represent Australia in the World Finals this year including the PentaGliders, Trident Racing (Sebastopol College and Raffles Girls School) and Trans Tasman Racing (Mirani State High School collaborating with Auckland Grammar).

Mr Clare said the F1 in Schools program is an international initiative that encourages high school students to design, develop and build futuristic model Formula One race cars.

“The PentaGliders were one of three Australian teams that participated in this year’s challenge in Malaysia,” Mr Clare said.

“They won the Bernie Ecclestone Trophy by scoring maximum points across 11 criteria including car design, pit display and collaboration with industry.

“The PentaGliders also won the Fastest Car Award for clocking the fastest track time of 1.084 seconds and the Best Engineered Design Award, making it the sixth time in seven world finals that Australia has won this category.”

Mr Clare said that the F1 in Schools program is a great way to get Australian students interested in engineering as a future career path.

Since 2008 the Defence Materiel Organisation has provided funding of $716,000 to Re-Engineering Australia to conduct the F1 in Schools program.

“Over the next 10 to 15 years, the Australian Defence Force will replace or upgrade about 85 per cent of its equipment and a lot of that work will be done here in Australia,” Mr Clare said.

“We’ll need engineers to build that equipment and that’s why Defence is supporting this program.

“It’s working. After completing the F1 in Schools Challenge, 64 per cent of boys and 35 per cent of girls changed their school subjects to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects.”

Media contact: Korena Flanagan – 02 6277 7620

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