Superintendent Carstarphen: Akins Students are Amazing in F1 in Schools Event

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said she was so impressed while spending time with our outstanding Akins High School students at the SAE "F1 in Schools" Technology Challenge 2013 Worlds Final Sunday.

In her Power of Us blog, the superintendent wrote:

Students from all over the world were at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Austin competing in teams to develop F1 cars of the future. Akins Principal Daniel Girard and the district's Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Pauline Dow, also attended the event.

F1 in Schools challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, manufacture and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm. long scale model designed using 3D solid modelling software and machined from a block of balsa wood, incorporating 3D print technology in its front and rear wings. At the World Finals each team will bring along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a verbal presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 20 meter track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second.

While I missed the first event, Critical Rules Rectification, on Saturday evening, I was told that 26 teams out of 38 needed to have specification errors resolved in less than two hours. Austin ISD's Collaboration Team, Lone Star Racing, which combines students from AISD and Granbury ISD, was one of twelve teams to not have any critical errors. By the time I got there on Sunday, our team still had a perfect score, meaning no points lost.

More than 300 students from 22 countries are competing for the F1 in Schools World Champions 2013 crown, the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy. In the United States, the F1 in Schools Challenge is managed by SAE International, the world's premier engineering society dedicated to the advancement of the mobility community to serve society. SAE International has a long history of providing STEM education to youth including the award-winning A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series competitions. The worldwide popularity of F1 racing adds to the excitement while providing a relevant background for simulating critical elements of engineering in the real world, especially here in Austin!

Our Lone Star Racing  team members - Chloe Scorggins, Ian McMasters, Brandon Rush, Hannah Holder, James Garcia and Erwin Neira (who gave me the official tour of the really clever Texas old-western-saloon-styled booth made just for our students) - said in their profile, "Our team has prepared to compete in the  most competitive manner possible. We are sure to amaze the judges and follow competitors." I know one thing for sure: they AMAZED me!

Meria Carstarphen


Interested in learning more about the Akins team and their road to the F1 in Schools competition? Read the district's press release or visit the superintendent's Power of Us blog.