Interdisciplinary Learning Packaged in a life-sized F1 car?

Nexus International School Singapore
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Can you imagine your daily lessons packed into the creation of a life-sized F1 car? That’s exactly what happened at Nexus International School (Singapore)!

In conjunction with the resumption of the Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Nexus collaborated with local Singapore artist, Bart “ButterNMilk”, to build a life-sized F1 car out of cardboard. This project was part of the year 8 learners’ Interdisciplinary Unit (IDU) of their Middle Years Program where they got to combine elements of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). Nexus learners got a great opportunity to appreciate scientific principles that go hand-in-hand with the design choices of an F1 car design. 

Crossroads of Design, Science and Art

Nexus learners explored both the practical and aesthetic aspects of design by studying various F1 car components and track designs, testing different types of tyres and investigating how F1 cars maximise aerodynamics to find out how these seemingly small details factor into race strategy. They also got individual mini cardboard models that they designed with their own unique liveries.

The learners used these cars as an example to learn how to measure distance and time in order to calculate speed, velocity and acceleration. They also learnt about air resistance, drag, aerodynamics and turbulent and laminar flows.

Equipped with the understanding of how these components affect the car’s capabilities, Nexus learners used clay sculpting skills developed in ceramics arts classes to create 3D clay aerodynamic car prototypes, which are reflective of the actual techniques used in the car design industry today. The learners even got to test the aerodynamics of their cars using a wind tunnel that was made out of recycled materials!

A Technology-Enriched Process

As an Apple Distinguished School, all Nexus learners are equipped with an iPad and Apple Pencil and these are useful tools that are used in the classroom. Learners used these devices to collaborate with their peers and conduct research as they worked on their lessons. They also used the Apple Pencils to work directly on outlines of the F1 cars to create digital versions of their liveries. With both hands-on and online experiences, the Nexus learners were encouraged to problem-solve and think outside the box.

Engaged Learning Filled With Fun

Nexus bases their educational best practices on the latest research and they understand that children learn best when they are engaged. Hence, Nexus tries to make learning hands-on and fun for its learners.

The school also aims to provide these unique and special experiences such as this F1 project for its learners as they learn new concepts. Through these experiences, the learners also got to work collaboratively with each other and felt a collective pride towards the final life-sized painted F1 car.