As the Formula 1 season gets underway in Melbourne, our local school are busy preparing for their very own F1 Challenge.
Balsall Common Primary School children taking part in the F1 in Schools Challenge had a huge boost recently when they got to visit Solihull College, Smithswood, and test their cars in a wind tunnel.
The children start off with a basic chassis and then have to design their own bodywork around it. Ian Dunnington from Jaguar Land Rover has visited the school to give practical advice on aerodynamics so testing the theory is crucial.
Following a meeting at Solihull Chamber of Commerce John Callaghan, Principle & Chief Executive of Solihull College, and Shaun Hindle, Senior Director of Employment and Skills agreed to help the teams by allowing them access to the college’s facilities.
Shaun Hindle was our guide for the day and generously gave up his time to personally show us round and answer any questions, of which the children had many. The children were very excited as they had no idea where they were going or the nature of the trip.
It was a huge boost to all of the teams both in terms of building confidence in their team and its tasks and in understanding their F1 project.
They got to see the engineering sections, MOT bays, aeronautical engineering section where they got to go onto a real plane, have access to the college’s 3D printer, to print the wheels, and get to test in the wind tunnel!
Howard Rose, Funding & Publicity Manager said, “What a fantastic opportunity this has been to inspire the children and support them with their F1 Challenge. I would like to extend my thanks to John and Shaun for allowing us to visit and to use their wonderful facilities.
This has had such a positive impact on the children. One even wants to come and work at the college in the future he was so impressed!”
John Callaghan, Principal and Chief Executive said “It was our pleasure to host Balsall Common Primary School and help with their current F1 project. As a College we believe it is key to inspire and invest in future generations and we hope that all of the students enjoyed their visit to Solihull College. We want to work with Balsall Common Primary School and other local schools in the future to allow students to see the excellent facilities we have on offer here at Solihull College and University Centre.”
Balsall Common Primary School recently took part in Slip into Slippers for the second year running. Age UK Solihull is one of their favourite charities, not least because the children love to hear from one of their teachers, Miss Hughes, about her weekly visits to Stan aged 93, as she volunteers as a befriender for Age UK Solihull. Miss Hughes also took part in the Great Birmingham Run in support of the charity on 18 October.
Lorraine Hart, Fundraising Manager at Age UK Solihull, says, “It was great to see so many schools, staff and local business people take part this year. It’s an easy and fun way to raise money for the charity, but at the same time there’s a serious message about the value of older people in society, both at work and in the home, and a way to recognise all that our parents and grandparents do for us”.
Howard Rose, Funding & Publicity Manager at Balsall Common Primary School said “this is the second year we have supported Age UK Solihull through ‘Slip into Slippers’ and I am pleased to say we have been able to raise even more money this year. The children really enjoy the day and it is a great way to support such a fantastic charity.”
Age UK’s Big Knit campaign is now well underway. If you can knit why not join in, all the information and patterns you need are online at www.thebigknit.co.uk .
The end of term this year will see one of the longest serving members of staff leave Balsall Common Primary School. With 30 years of service Sue has the longest service record since the 1950’s and is the second longest serving member of staff in the schools 102 year history.
Sue said there are so many happy memories over the years but the thing she will miss most are the children, over the years she has taught nearly 1,000 children.
She is now looking forward to spending more time with her family and finally finishing lots of the DIY jobs she has started!
Graeme Burgess, Headteacher at Balsall Common Primary School said, “What an incredible achievement, I am sure Sue will be missed by both the children and staff. We all wish her a very happy retirement.”
Three teams from Balsall Common Primary School had the chance to design and race their own F1 cars as part of a F1 in schools challenge.
12 Year 4 pupils worked in three teams to create the most aerodynamic cars possible. As well as making the cars, the teams had to secure sponsors, deliver presentations to a judging team and answer questions about their project. They were able to use the latest computer aided design technology and printers to make the cars. Then the teams raced the cars along a 20m track, powered by gas canisters, taking less than 1.5 seconds to cover the distance.
Team Turbo, Fire Blaze and Lightning Strike worked incredibly hard supporting each other, maximising their talents and building on the excellent support offered by Ian Dunning a designer from Jaguar Land Rover on hand to guide their work and gently suggest improvements.