On Saturday, April 1, a team of boys and girls from North Bergen, Weehawken, and Teaneck who have known each other since their day care days participated in the “Formula 1 in School” competition held at the Classic Car Club in Manhattan – and came away with first and third place awards. Now they hope to advance to the nationals.
F1 in Schools is a STEM program involving students from all over the world, built with the idea that learning is fun. The first regional competition in the New York/Tri-State area was held this month, and the 13th National Finals will be held in Austin, Texas from June 8 to 11. Teams will vie to head to the World Finals in Abu Dhabi.
Against some high schools students, the Dream Racers – the local quartet of local 11 to 13 year olds – took home first place for Research and Development and also won third place for a car design they collaborated on, advancing the team to the nationals in Texas.
Team members included Jordan Chamberlain, a12 year-old attending Weehawken High School who likes to play basketball, football, and baseball. He also participates in a robotics club and his school’s peer leadership program, which he says he does to help the community. He also plays the xylophone four days a week.
Jehnoi Walcott, 12, hails from North Bergen and attends the Academy of Our Lady of Grace. A seventh grader, she says she loves to read, is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and her school’s drama club, and is a reporter for her school’s newspaper.
Their fellow team members are from Teaneck and attend St. Peter Academy. They are Julian Fontenot, 11 years old, and his sister Kelsey Fontenot, 13.
The long history of friendship among the team members began when they met at Sweet Dream day care in Guttenberg.
“We are a group of four young men and women who have known each other since we were in diapers,” Jordan said. “We came together to compete in this year’s ‘F1 in Schools’ engineering competition, which is being held for the first time in the New York/Tri-State region this year.
We no longer go to the same schools and live far away from each other, but that doesn’t discourage us from trying hard and meeting often to work together in this competition. We are lucky to have the Classic Car Club of Manhattan as our major sponsor.”
The team’s goal, he said, is to win nationals in Austin, TX and get to the World Finals in Abu Dhabi. You can visit their website www.f1dreamracers.com .