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St James College, Brisbane students have engineered, built and raced three race cars. The day-long race day was held at Lakeside Park raceway, with over 30 schools attending.
St James College Principal, Ann Rebgetz attended the race day and explained how crucial this initiative is to giving students experiences that will set them up for a range of rewarding careers.
“Well, this is industry,” Principal Rebgetz explained at the racetrack in the video above.
“What they’re doing is similar to the motor industry, the motor racing industry.
“So, it gives them the taste of that.
“But what the skills they’ve developed through their Certificate II in Engineering course are incredible.
“And the other part in terms of those skills, it’s not just the mechanical skills, it’s the skills of actually driving and being here at the race course and actually having the confidence to get in and do it – working with the team because the car works as a team, they change over in the different rounds in changing the drivers.
“They have a special licence for the day.
“But they’re going around 80kms an hour, and they have to actually keep it steady.
“The idea is to have a steady speed so that you’re not slowing down to go around corners, but actually staying and maintaining your momentum and the cars that do that best will win.”
Further, Principal Rebgetz talked about the responsibility of a school to stay a step ahead in education.
“And so as schools really need to be focused on how we’re upskilling our students, because they haven’t even got into the workforce yet,” Principal Rebgetz continued to explain.
“So, unless we’re one step ahead, we’re not actually providing the service to our students that we should be.
“And that is the role of the principal of a school to make sure you are one step ahead.
“So, another example today would be the students are doing this construction of the vehicle, the racing of the vehicle, all in their Certificate II in Engineering.
“If our students want to go to university and study engineering, the wonderful aspect of St James is that they can come and do the Certificate II in Engineering and their physics and chemistry and maths to get into engineering.
“But they actually get there, and they have hands on skills because they’ve done this at the racetrack.”
The racecar program is called Formula Student, which is a project-based learning – embedded within a simulated work environment, which engages students by developing engineering skills – while building a full size Le Mans prototype race car.