Offering a way to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), “F1 in Schools” is a global multi-disciplinary competition that challenges secondary school students to design, build and race miniature, compressed-air powered, F1 cars.

The competition will take place in Abu Dhabi next November and taking on the challenge representing Ireland will be four secondary students from Presentation College Headford, Co. Galway.

Photon 6

The team consists of Oliver Burke – Team Manager and Co-Car Designer, Conor Biggins – Car Designer and Manufacturer, Ruairí McNicholas – Graphic Designer and Conor Dever – Marketing and Communications Manager.

Collectively they are known as Photon Racing and are the first team from the West of Ireland to compete in the World Final.

The car is manufactured from balsa wood by a CNC milling machine and is designed on computer aided design software by team members Oliver Burke and Conor Biggins. After months of extensive testing before the National Finals, which were held in Dublin Castle, the car was designed to incorporate 3D-printed elements to replace the most fragile pieces of the design, the front and rear airfoils. ABS plastic was selected as the printing material as it is light and durable.
Achieving a time of 1.110 seconds along the 20m aluminum track during the race time trials at the National Finals, the car would have placed eighth in the world last year!

Photon 4

The team have also built their own computer to power their Pit Display and created their own website http://photonracing.com
Many of the teams involved in the event outsource a lot of the work and this was something that the Photon Racing team were determined to avoid. Most teams seek professional help in certain aspects of the competition such as the design and printing of their Portfolio which is a 20 page booklet outlining every aspect of the team’s project and is submitted for judging at the event.
In Photon Racing’s case all the work was done by team member Ruairí McNicholas and it picked up the National Award for Best Portfolio.

The final aspect of the competition is sponsorship. Between paying for travel to the event and materials for the portfolio, car and pit display, the team has to raise €25,000. This task falls to Communications and Marketing Manager, Conor Dever, who aims to offer significant Return of Investment for companies who sponsor the team, either monetarily or with a service. With the attraction of sponsoring the future of the technology industry, the team is seeking support to help fund their quest for victory for Ireland in Abu Dhabi.

For more information about the team, the event and all the works they have completed so far visit their website, Facebook  page and you can stay up to date by following them on Twitter.

If you’d like to support the team you can contact Conor Dever, by e-mail [email protected], by phone on 086 021 2777 or by leaving a contact request on the team’s website.