High school students in pole position

Fifteen students from Swan Hill Secondary College and Tyrell Secondary College got an exciting hands-on engineering experience at La Trobe University on Friday 14 March – Grand Prix style!

As part of the LEAP into Engineering Program, the students attended the Australian Grand Prix and completed an F1-inspired engineering workshop in the new state-of-the-art Robotics and Mechatronics laboratory.

La Trobe University PhD student Alex Stumpf introduced students to the history of vehicle design and safety factors in crashes. The students then designed their own crumple zone using a variety of different materials such as soft drink cans, polystyrene, various plastics and sticky tape. The activity encouraged students to consider how certain materials and structures react when exposed to a high impact crash and how crash testing principles apply to F1 vehicles.

‘The students attended the Grand Prix with a far greater appreciation for an engineer’s role in the design of a safe and effective F1 car,’ said Eddie Custovic, Associate Lecturer in La Trobe University’s Department of Electronic Engineering.

‘The students enjoyed the workshop and many indicated they would now consider studying at university in the future. It’s great to see the next generation of young thinkers coming through and really embracing the idea of a future career in engineering,’ Mr Custovic said.

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