Portlaoise College students get revved up for challenge



PORTLAOISE College recently signed up teams to participate in the F1 in schools technology challenge, powered in Ireland by Irish Computer Society.

Members of the teams, Silver Bolt, Elimeinators and Pit Vipers will be required to make an aerodynamic model F1 car which will be raced against other participating schools in the regional finals in March and national final in April. This is the sixth year for the competition to run in Ireland under the guidance of the Irish Computer Society (ICS) in partnership with Discover Science and Engineering.

Jane Jordan the engineering teacher at the school explained why the school chose to enter the F1 in schools challenge.

“This is our first year to have transition year in the school, giving students an opportunity to sample a wide range of curricular options, and this competition inspires students to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, leadership/teamwork, media skills, sponsorship, marketing and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way”.

Portlaoise College teams will be required to write a five page plan explaining how they would go about putting their model F1 car together should they qualify for the regionals.

Once a school team has qualified they will receive a kit which includes balsa wood for making the model. Ongoing support will be offered and the school will be paired with a Formula 1 Make Centre i.e. a college or university with the necessary equipment for milling the models.

This interaction with colleges will give students an introduction to engineering, science and technology choices at third level.

Elsewhere in the school, Dr Eddie Murphy, clinical psychologist, was there on Wednesday November 14 to give a talk on positive parenting to parents of Scoil Bhride and Portlaoise College. It was an inspiring talk, very interactive with involvement from the audience. June Whelan from the parents council said “we all got a lot of good tips from this talk”.

Finally, Portlaoise College recently enjoyed a successful open night with principal Noel Daly commenting on the “record number of enrolments”. Closing date for enrolment for in-coming First year students is Friday December 14.


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