Limerick pupils rev up for Formula 1 design competition

BLAZZIN’ Bullets from St Nessan’s school in Limerick has zoomed into the Formula One regional finals, along with another team from the school.

BLAZZIN’ Bullets from St Nessan’s school in Limerick has zoomed into the Formula One regional finals, along with another team from the school.

The transition year students from St. Nessan’s Community College have now reached the regional finals stage of the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge, which will be held in the University of Limerick on February next Wednesday, February 27.

F1 in Schools is a national competition and it is open to all secondary schools to design and manufacture a 25mm long compressed air-powered F1 racing car.

Student teams compete against each other in regional and national championships to determine the best-engineered and fastest car in Ireland.

The winning car will be judged on design, speed and the school team’s full project presentation.

Local teams taking part include Blazzin’ Bullets - Leah O’Brien, Aoife O’Carroll, Lisa Daly, Anna Sommerer, Bobbi-Marie O’Callaghan - and AfterShock team members, Erin Sheehan, Leanne Roche, Dervela Ryan, and Naomi Mitchell Kelly.

This is the third year that the school has been involved in the competition. In 2010 Team Cheetah won “best website” at the national finals and last year Team Mustang won first prize in the “marketing and communication” category. The school has also achieved prizes at regional level for best use of information and communications technology.

Leah O’Brien, of Blazzin’ Bullets, said they are delighted to have qualified for the regional finals. “We have put hours of hard work into all aspects of this project. We feel very privileged to represent our school and city in a positive way in this competition,” she said.

The qualifying stage consisted of a five point plan on how each team intended to create their 25cm balsa wood Formula One™ car by showing their research, proposed budgets, designs and other aspects. This is the ninth year the competition has run in Ireland under the guidance of the Irish Computer Society (ICS) in partnership Discover Science & Engineering.

Team manager of AfterShock Dervela Ryan, said they took a lot of interest in this competition and are very proud to have made it this far in the competition. “Being our first year in the competition we didn’t know much about it in the start but have learned lots of stuff about F1. We would love to get through to the national finals and if we won it would be a great accomplishment for our school and ourselves.”