Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Brandon students driven to win

Heading to Abu Dhabi to vie for F1 title

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Aurora team members (from left) Savannah Wedgewood, Dylan  Williamson, Lee Gorowski, Reece Pennell, Jason Klimack and  Delton Kreller will be  competing in the F1 in Schools World Finals this November in Abu Dhabi.

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Aurora team members (from left) Savannah Wedgewood, Dylan Williamson, Lee Gorowski, Reece Pennell, Jason Klimack and Delton Kreller will be competing in the F1 in Schools World Finals this November in Abu Dhabi.

BRANDON -- A team of Crocus Plains design-drafting students is preparing for the race of a lifetime that will take them halfway across the world.

After being named national champions of Canada in the F1 in Schools competition in Brooklyn, Mich., in May, the six high school students are preparing to claim the world title at the F1 in Schools World Finals this November in Abu Dhabi.

This marks the fourth straight year Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School students have represented Canada in the world finals.

This year's team -- called Aurora -- includes Lee Gorowski, Dylan Williamson, Jason Klimack, Delton Kreller, Savannah Wedgewood and Reece Pennell.

With just under six months to prepare, the students are busy creating a detailed business model, budget and marketing campaign to help them raise enough funds to get to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The team is reaching out to Brandon and surrounding areas in hopes of raising $50,000 to help cover travel costs.

They estimate they'll need at least that for all of them to make it to the competition and have a shot at winning the grand prize of $1.6 million in scholarships to City University in London, England, to study mechanical engineering.

"Previous teams from our school have placed within the top 15 or top 10," Wedgewood said. "Since we've kind of built off what they've done and added our own personal touches to it, we think that we can place at least within the top five."

Wedgewood said they decided to name the team Aurora after the aurora borealis during one of their first meetings as a group last February.

"It's one of Canada's natural beauties, so we figured if we shortened it down to Aurora it would work," the Grade 10 student said. "We thought we could build that brand into something amazing."

F1 in Schools is an international competition involving nearly 20 million students from more than 40 countries. Groups of students design and manufacture a miniature race car powered by carbon dioxide cartridges, which are timed from the moment they are launched to when they reach the finish line.

"Most people, when they think of F1 in Schools, they think of just the car, but there's so much more to it than just the car," Kreller said.

One of the team's coaches, Crocus Plains teacher Andrew Gorowski, said the skills the students have been developing since the team was formed will serve them well in the future.

"Communication and networking skills... these are skills that will apply to any level of career that they want to go into," Gorowski said.

"Even if they don't happen to win the competition, they're walking away with life skills that are invaluable."

Another of the team's coaches, Crocus Plains design-drafting instructor Tara Hamilton, said the students have been putting in roughly 15 extra hours a week just for this competition.

Hamilton said without the support from local organizations, they wouldn't have made it this far.

"It's just an amazing opportunity for any business or company that's looking to get involved."

Those interested in donating can visit the team's website at auroraf1.com.


-- Brandon Sun

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 13, 2014 A10

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