Winning formula: Club races to build model car in competitive league


Matt Petres

CREATING CARS: Members of the F1 in Schools club hover over the workbench as they work to design and build a model F1 car.

Amon Gray, Sports and Leisure Editor

The high-density polyurethane foam model block is a simple gray box that the U-High F1 team members began their season with. Yet, by the end of the year it will be a sleek, laser cut model car plastered with sponsor logos, and ready to race down the track.

The members of the U-High chapter of F1 in Schools combine their passions for STEM and racing by building and raising sponsors for the global model racing league, which they will compete in for the first time this summer. 

Throughout the year the team works in the makerspace to build the model car out of the F1 model block. The current team will compete against other schools for the first time over the summer. The model that they build will be attached to a carbon dioxide canister to test the car. The team is working on testing their design for drag.

“I think running the test was really exciting because it’s like a culmination of all the work we’ve done in the past,” Ayush Mishra, club co-president said. “I joined this club in eighth grade at Lab, and it’s been a lot of work, but that just felt pretty special.”

Along with the car, the team will raise money through sponsorships, simulating an actual Formula One team. 

Their competitions the past two years have been canceled, so the team is excited to test their skills.

“In ninth grade we kind of hit the ground running,” Ayush said. “We did club shopping and all that, and then this year we’ve really taken up manufacturing because last year’s competition was canceled, but this year it’s gonna happen sometime in the summer.”

Jashan Gill, the club’s lead engineer, is looking forward to competition

“I joined the club because at my old school they also had an F1 schools team, and I was a member of that. I’ve been doing it since sixth grade and we did pretty well,” Jashan said. “We didn’t actually win the nationals, but since it was during the pandemic, and teams dropped out, we ended up going up to the worlds, so that was quite an experience.”

Raza Ali Zaidi, club co-president, said his favorite part of the club has been seeing everyone improve and work together to create the car. 

“I think especially with our return to in-person competition this year, everybody’s gotten to know each other much better,” Raza said. “We’ve gotten much more used to working with each other.”

As the team continues to develop, the members have learned to work together as creators and engineers. 

“Our goal for the upcoming competition is to build a competitive car,” Raza said. “Hopefully we’ll qualify for globals [worlds], which means placing in the top three of nationals.”