A TEAM from Hanson Academy has qualified for the F1 in Schools National finals for the second year running.

The six students - called Team Entity - will be up against 47 other schools on the grid at Airbus in Broughton, near Chester, on March 11 and 12.

The competition is designed to encourage youngsters to use science, technology, engineering and maths skills in a fun and exciting learning environment by designing a model Formula 1 car.

The group of 15/16-year-olds - Ryan Spinks, Aymie-Louise Greenwood, Bailey England, Benjamin Bott, Luke Gudgeon and Samuel Davis - got through the North-East regional finals where they finished second overall in the Professional Class.

If they win the national finals they will go through to the F1 in Schools World Finals.

Stem teacher at the school Simon Clemmett praised the efforts his students had put in. He said: "They are a good bunch of kids and have put the work in.

"I think they will be in the 10 ten, perhaps the top six.

"At the regionals they were beaten by a team with the second best score nationally.

"They are very excited about the nationals."

Mr Clemmett said the team will be up against grammar and independent schools with much better backing and funding but he still thinks they will be challengers.

The team have had to do everything from engraving their own pencils with the team logo and making badges to approaching sponsors and getting money and equipment to improve their car design, pit display and presentation skills.

Mr Clemmett said the competition was giving the students real-world experience.

He said: "They've picked up so much. They are high-ability achievers and are learning skills they wouldn't normally pick up at school."

Tolerances on some part of the cars are down to half a millimetre and the competition is so intense, Team Entity have been working hard to improve on their regionals performance, refining the design thanks to a 3D printer provided by sponsor Create Education.

Mr Clemmett said after the regionals the team have been going through a long list of improvements, working through lunchtime and after school for weeks.

The competition is designed to inspire students to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.

Winning student teams from regional finals around the country will race their bespoke designs of miniature Formula 1 cars on the Official F1 in Schools 20 metre track, present their business plans, display their engineering designs and showcase their work to a panel of industry and engineering experts.

The two-day competition tests their F1 car designs to the limit on track, as well as the students supporting work with a busy timetable of judging sessions.

The UK Champions will win tickets to the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, including exclusive paddock access at the event from Formula 1, a Formula 1 team factory tour, two £5,000 scholarships for UCL Mechanical Engineering and, for the winning school, a F1 Branded Race Track and Race Control System with Car Deceleration System worth £5,000 from Denford Ltd.

The elite of the UK National Finals teams will be rewarded with a place at the F1 in Schools World Finals 2019. These students compete for the coveted trophy, and highly-valued City, University of London and University College London Engineering scholarships.

The event is held in partnership with aerospace manufacturer Airbus whose wing assembly plant will host the contest.