Team Shift, four ninth-grade girls from Cobb County high schools, won the Formula One in Schools National Championship that wrapped up Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. The finish qualifies “Team Shift” to represent the United States at the F1 In Schools World Finals this fall at a country to be announced in the next few weeks.
“This has been an incredible experience for our team. The opportunity to represent the USA at the world level is a dream come true. We have our sponsors, parents and teacher to thank for giving us this amazing opportunity. We are excited to continue to grow as female engineers,” stated Kelly Fitzgerald Team Shift’s team manager.
Team Shift members have competed in F1 in Schools for the past three years and competed at the world level last year in Malaysia in collaboration with a German team. Members of the team include Kelly Fitzgerald, Team Manager; Anna Awald – Design Engineer; Claire McCoy – Graphic Designer & Design Engineer; Sabine Saldanha – Manufacturing Engineer & Resource Manager. Awald, Fitzgerald and McCoy attend ’s Center for Advanced Studies in Science, Math and Technology, Saldanha attends Campbell High School’s International Baccalaureate Program.
Funding for the team was provided by Porsche Cars North America, Women in Technology, Robinson Racing and People Strategy. Liz Fitzgerald and Fred Stillwell are Team Advisors.
Formula One in Schools is an engineering challenge in which teams design and build a model Formula One car. In competition, teams race their cars, powered by a CO2 cartridge down a 20-meter track. Teams also give an oral presentation and an engineering interview and create a display and portfolio on the competition process.
The girls teamed up in 2010 when they attended . In 2011, they took second in the U.S. competition and then collaborated with a German team in the world championship in Malaysia in September 2011.
The students raised sponsorships from Porsche Cars North America, the Women in Technology Foundation, and other private businesses and foundations for airfare, uniforms, lodging, materials and competition costs for the trip to Malaysia.
F1 in Schools is a worldwide, multidisciplinary challenge for students aged 9-19. It is the largest global educational initiative promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the world operating in 40 countries.
More than 20,000 students have participated in the competition in the last twelve years. F1 in Schools is managed in the USA by SAE International, a global association of more than 133,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle