Carlow Students to Represent Ireland at Formula One in Schools World Finals

Four Presentation College, Carlow students have been selected to represent Ireland in the F1 in Schools World Finals, the largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths competition for students in the world. Autolaunch Racing team members Lee Campbell (16 ), John Harding (17), Pauric Dempsey (16) and David Hatton (18) fought off competition from 25 other finalist teams from all over Ireland to claim the National Title and the opportunity to represent Ireland in the 2014 World Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE this November.

Last Friday, May 2nd, the team travelled to Dublin Castle. After a series of racing, judging and presentations, Autolaunch Racing walked away as overall National Champions. The National Finals were held as part of the Irish Computer Society’s Tech Week initiative, aimed at encouraging Technology to secondary school students.


CEO of the Irish Computer Society Jim Friars congratulated all of the participants. “The standard was incredibly high this year and it was amazing to see the excitement and enthusiasm from both students and teachers alike. An incredible level of commitment and teamwork was displayed and the lengths that the teams went to in modelling and planning the cars were unprecedented.”

Work for the 2014 Finals began last September with schools registering their interest in competing through submission of a five-page plan. Intense competition followed with 100 teams representing 63 second-level schools from across the country, battling their way through the various qualifying stages of the competition to reach the National Finals.

In addition to racing head-to-head, the competing teams were judged on the quality of engineering, portfolio, resource management, marketing, graphic design, sponsorship activities and on a verbal presentation of their work.

The team commenting on their success said: “Our journey so far has been the most amazing experience of our lives, and we’ve learned so many new skills in a vast range of areas, such as Science, Engineering, Design, Business and Media. Being involved in the competition for so many years has really broadened our horizons for the future, and having all our hard work pay off is an incredible feeling. We are absolutely delighted to be able to represent our country in this year’s World Finals.”

The F1 in Schools challenge, powered in Ireland by the Irish Computer Society, began as a response to a recognised skills shortage in computing and engineering, with technology courses having had experienced a significant decline in CAO applications over a number of years. However, this trend has begun to change.

This is the tenth year running for the leading global education initiative, which now incorporates over 17,000 schools from 35 different countries. It will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to coincide with the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit – the final race of the Formula One season.

The overall winners of the competition are awarded prestigious scholarships to City University London.  Autolaunch Racing vying to bring home the coveted Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy back to Ireland for the first time since 2009.




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Lee Campbell

Team Manager

Autolaunch Racing