Emily Chesters is team manager of Storm Racing, an all-girl team of 17 and 18-year-old students from Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College. In 2016 they won the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge ‘Women in Motorsport Award’, supported by Dare To Be Different, held at Silverstone circuit.
“…Being part of a team has made me realise that to solve the problems we face, we must tackle them as a team as opposed to individually, and I believe the same occurs with the problems people working in STEM space experience…”
We formed the team back in 2013 when a few of us became interested in competing in an engineering competition, our teacher had previously run the same competition at a different school and thought it would be a good idea to get us involved.
Each of us decided that we would have a role which suited our strength. There are five of us in the team, (me) Emily Chesters – team manager, Emma Davis – graphic designer, Dani Taylor – manufacturing engineer, Sophie Barwick – technical analyst, and Emma Jerstice – design engineer.
We are currently working towards the 2018 North West Regional Heat in January, we are redesigning our car, working on fundraising for the project, and getting the portfolios ready.
We are all currently completing the final year of our A-levels and, whilst it is often hard to fit everything in, we ensure that we allow each other to prioritise school work over any work we have for F1 in Schools. We also plan what we need to do a long time in advance and aim to stick to this so that any F1 in Schools work does not clash with exams.
Getting it funded
I’d say the most difficult part of the competition is gaining the funds, which can often hinder other parts of the project, however last year and this year we have been fundraising on website such as Just Giving and doing activities in school. This approach has meant that we’re not solely relying on sponsors, which has been a great help.
We also aim to secure sponsorship from local companies who can help us with elements of the project, such as Bentley – who helped the team in designing the car, Barden – who have provided the team with bearings, and Siemens – who helped with the 3D printed components of the car.
— CAUC (@CAUC_SHS) March 29, 2017
Realising the importance of STEM careers in today’s society
Since beginning competing in F1 in Schools I have realised the importance that STEM careers play in today’s society. Being part of a team has made me realise that to solve the problems we face, we must tackle them as a team as opposed to individually, and I believe the same occurs with the problems people working in STEM space experience.
There are different career aspirations throughout the team from computer science to architecture, however all have been heavily influenced by the experience we have had through F1 in Schools and other STEM competitions.
Pay it forward
We recently attended a Dare 2 Be Different event aimed at young girls to try and encourage them to go into STEM careers which was really fun to attend. It also feels great to pay it forward and help other girls in the same way other people helped us.
— Storm Racing (@storm_racing) September 27, 2017
I think girls and women are often scared because racing is seen as a “boy thing” however I don’t personally feel that being a girl has hindered me competing in F1 in Schools, and if anything has been an advantage. Therefore, I’d say don’t be scared that it’s not traditionally a “girl thing” and go for it!