And, last month, Denbigh High School held a special event to celebrate the four students’ outstanding success at the world finals of a motorsport engineering competition.
Team Tachyon, comprising of Year 11 students Amy Martin, Holly Roberts, Jessica Briody-Hughes and Katie Rowlands, scooped three awards at the F1 in Schools world finals 2016 awards celebration in Texas. They won the Team sponsorship and marketing award, the momen in motorsport award and the best verbal presentation prize.
This is the second time that the team has achieved success in the competition. They won the sponsorship and marketing award in 2015 at the world finals in Singapore after raising an impressive £21,000 through sponsorship. They surpassed this amount in 2016 by raising a staggering £23,000 to cover the competition entry fees, travel and accommodation, as well as funding research and making refinements to the car and pit display.
Simeon Molloy, Denbigh High’s headteacher, said: “We are incredibly proud of the team, they are a credit to the school and an inspiration for all of our students.
“To achieve success in two consecutive years in such a high profile, international competition is remarkable and testament to their talent, commitment and hard work over a sustained period.
“The team’s manager Amy has also secured a place in the prestigious Williams Randstad Engineering Academy. She is one of only nine people in the world to be accepted onto this programme, which is an exceptional achievement and this will give Amy the opportunity to work closely with F1 in the future.
“It is a great privilege to honour these high calibre students and we wish them every success for the future.”
Mr Molloy presented the girls with framed certificates in honour of their outstanding achievements and contribution to the school.
The assembly, which was attended by special guests, including John Evans (14-19 network co-ordinator with Denbighshire County Council), former Lakeside world darts champion Mark Webster and former pupil Gareth Royles, the chair of governors.
Also in attendance were the team’s sponsors and representatives from local junior schools, and during the assembly, the team gave a presentation about their journey to success in the competition.
They showed some F1 in Schools video footage of them in Texas, which showcased their innovative ‘pit’ display that incorporates virtual and augmented reality.
Katie Rowlands, the team’s resources manager, said: “We were so honoured to receive the best sponsorship and marketing award again. This would not have been possible without the tremendous support that we have received from our devoted sponsors. Along with this, we feel that our focus on community engagement enabled us to win this award, as we organised and delivered several assemblies in local primary schools to encourage a new generation into engineering.
“We especially try to inspire females into engineering as it is a male dominated industry. This emphasis on women in engineering, along with our own enthusiasm and passion for engineering, led us to win the women in motorsport Award.
“We are very proud to have achieved this award, and the fact that Amy has been selected for the Williams Randstad Engineering Academy is absolutely fantastic.
“We are so thankful to our design and technology teachers for their incredible support, and to everyone involved in making the competition a possibility for us.”
Mark Webster said: “I am so impressed with the girls, this has been such a unique opportunity for them to be involved with. It’s also great for the younger students to see presentations such as this, the girls really are wonderful role models.”
Team Tachyon’s success over the last two years has also been acknowledged by Ann Jones AM.
Ms Jones, who met the girls on a visit to Denbigh High School, subsequently spoke about their achievement in the Senedd, Cardiff.
During her speech, she said: “They have fully embraced all the challenges using STEM subjects and are gaining some valuable skills and experience for their later life. They are truly inspirational young women who have taken on the challenges of the project outside of their school work.
“They’ve become mentors for primary school children taking the F1 challenge now, and made their families, their school, their community and me very proud.” She added that she “hoped the Assembly would also be proud of their achievements”.
The girls are all hoping to pursue careers in engineering in the future. They said that the whole experience has opened their eyes to the broad variety of jobs within the field of engineering.