"Never Give Up" Blackbird X
 
Blackbird X comprising of 5 students from The Indian High School, represented UAE at the F1 in Schools World Finals 2012 in a toughly fought competition from 28th to 31st October, held at Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi.

The team, BlackBirdX and the Indian High School's (IHS) F1 coordinator, Mrs. Malathy Mansingh, were very excited and enthusiastic for the world finals, it reflected in their work as well as their spirits.

Mrs. Mansingh mentioned that the competition has given the students a great head start, she further stated, "What you learn in the classroom is applied here. This is completely different from formal education. In our classroom the students blindly follow what the teacher says but in F1 the teacher is just a guide or a mentor. The real learning is done by the students. It has science, technology marketing, commerce, creativity and above all life skills. It teaches you how to communicate and helps you learn the right attitude".
Under Mrs. Mansingh's leadership, F1 in IHS has seen a tremendous development, with the infrastructure, which is now available at our school, to support the development of car, from design and manufacture to painting and finishing.

The person who made this vision of Mrs. Mansingh and F1 in Schools at IHS, come true, is the school's CEO, Mr. Ashok Kumar. The team and Mrs. Mansing, Believe that it is the CEO's constant support and his driving force, behind F1 in schools in IHS and has helped the pupil in realising this dream.

The CEO of the school, Mr. Ashok Kumar, after seeing the event and the pit stalls was impressed and said, "I have brought F1 in schools to IHS to kindle the students to be innovative outside the classroom because our curriculum doesn't give the same freedom to be creative. It's my desire to provide the students with maximum exposure." He even humbly mentioned that "It was all Mrs. Mansingh's effort. I was just a catalyst."

The four day F1 in Schools World Finals always has much in store for the teams. On this occasion, the team manager of BlackBirdX, Aashik Shajahan stated, "F1 in schools is an activity that interlinks the various courses we have in the school. Not only are your academic elements magnified but every other life skill as well. It teaches you how to work under pressure and make the best out of the worst situations."

The graphic designer Ahmad Yousuf when asked about the world finals experience said, "It feels great to be among so many different countries and various teams. It has been a week since I got some good sleep and today it feels great!" The pit stall, put up by him stood out and hardly anyone could pass by without taking a look to admire it.

The car race of team Blackbird X against the South African Accelero, led the latter to victory, by clocking 1.2 seconds. Halfway through, they implemented a strategy change with Ahmad Yusuf coming on as the race engineer, which did produce better results. The reaction timings improved from 0.202 seconds to 0.152 seconds.

Immediately after the races, Aashish Salian, the design engineer, behind the development of the car was asked about his expectation from the car. Salian therefore mentioned, "I was so sure that this car would achieve the one second challenge. Actually, I still am. If we could just manufacture this design once more with the finishing not going wrong this time we would be able to do it." When asked for a tip for the young design engineers Aashish humorously said "Get a good Computer!"

On similar lines, Sreekanth Mohan Kumar, the Resource Manager stated, "We had some difficulties at the start of our preparations but eventually we could cope up." He also thanked the school for stepping in when they were in
need of liquid cash by funding their purchases. "I would ask all the new teams to be prepared much in advance with the resources because you never know what may come up. Tasks like import of goods must be done in advance" he said.

The marketing manager Bhavika Devnani, a new member of the team mentioned "More than skill, this competition demands extreme dedication and perseverance and that's exactly what BlackBirdX is all about." When asked about how the experience was she said "When we learnt that the world finals will be in Abu Dhabi we were slightly disappointed but later we realised how it turned out to be a boon as it made logistics easier. Marketing was a bit difficult at first but later we found sponsors who could support us."

However, at the end of the fourth day, the results were announced with Cold Fusion, an Australian team winning the coveted Bernie Ecclestone Championship trophy. Even though BlackBirdX was disappointed and on asking the team to give the newer teams a message they all said: "Never Give Up!"

-Hari Anantharaman