By Ashton Stonier
For the past 2 years, Conquest has been working diligently to impress the judges at F1 in Schools. Currently, Conquest has only competed in two competitions – and we participated in the States (racing against Victoria) and Nationals (racing against Australian teams) both times. At the most recent States competition we came in at second place, rivalled only by Hydron from Trinity Grammar.
Trinity Grammar goes to the Worlds almost every year and we were desperate to beat them (in the name of friendly competition, of course). The first day of Nationals we set up our booth as usual… with Hydron right beside us. The second day we were introduced to Bosch, with Andrew Denford, the Chairman for the UK F1 in Schools, joining us. Bosch was very generous to lend us their facilities and give us tours of some of their most intriguing projects, such as their Robotics and Autonomous Driving departments. However, rest assured, that Andrew did not gain any of our trade secrets to take back to the UK!
Our first activity was the Augmented Reality tour, viewing revolutionary technology involving the repairs of cars without pulling everything apart in the process (I can’t give too much away!). We then went on the Dremel tour. Dremel is a one of a kind pen-like tool which boasts precision and quality. We used a new test model to drill some holes into an object, testing out the quality and immense speed of the drill. We then had our first race, which was against Hydron, of all teams. We wished them luck as we went to the start gate… We came away with a faster time putting us above them on the leader board at the time – the first time Conquest gained superiority over Trinity! We were ecstatic, but knew we had a challenge coming, looking at the times of the other teams. We then had our CAD interview where we explained our car design to the judges and came away with what seemed like a good response. We remembered that our Verbal Presentations were at 5:00, the most stressful of judging. We practised for a good hour or so, feeling confident but nervous, coming away with good feedback, and this concluded our second day at the competition.
Bright and early again, we began our third day with our Trade Display interview, talking about our Trade Display design and ideas. Although being sprung with some unexpected questions, we passed mildly easy. Later on, after watching a few races, we had our CAM interview this time, similar to CAD but focusing on the manufacturing side, making the car into a physical structure. After lunch, we had our two remaining tours, Robotics and Automated Driving, both of which were inspirational and showed us the inner-workings of their newest technology and innovations. Soon after, we had our reaction racing up against Nexus, where we did not do too well – making it into 11th for our gross lap. We then had knockouts for the rest of the day, sadly without us in them. With our healthy relationship with Hydron, we cheered them on as they came 8th in the knockouts, not doing as well as they thought they would, which was good for Alamanda, but not so good for them… We proceeded to watch the final races, with Dark Matter winning the professional class knockouts. Soon after we packed down our booths and headed out with high hopes.
Finally, the time came when we had to face the music at the presentation night. We listened to many inspirational people, such as Andrew Denford and Michael Myers. Although we did not win any awards, Alamanda’s second team, Perigrine, won ‘best portfolio’ in the professional class, which is great for Alamanda.
We learnt so much and have gained so many skills, all the while making friends – and best of all – having fun during our time in the competition so far. We’d like to give a big thanks to our mentors and teachers and parents, all those who have helped us, as well as our sponsors – who we could not have gone this far without.