PUPILS in Oswestry are being urged to emulate Formula 1 stars and their pit crews by taking part in an international STEM challenge.

Local schools are wanted to take part in the next F1 in Schools, a global competition that encourages young people to build, market, promote and race their own purpose-built cars.

Teams of six pupils - from Years 10 to 13 - can enter and, for the first time in the region, will be supported by the Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) and The STEM Workshop.

The two organisations have joined forces to ensure Oswestry has the strongest possible entries and will hold a special launch event on December 6 at the MCMT training academy in Bridgnorth.

Here schools will be teamed up with a business that will mentor them throughout the project, as well as hearing from the former commercial director of the Benneton F1 team, Brian Sims as well as Mark Wemyss-Holden and engineering social media influencer Chris Greenough.

They will also have the rare opportunity to meet with the champions of Formula 3 from the University of Wolverhampton race team and see up close a Formula 3 car.

Amy Farley, ESF Growth for Skills compliance manager at MCMT, is leading on the project

“F1 in Schools is a great way of getting pupils involved in STEM-related subjects, especially engineering and manufacturing," she said.

“This is just the start. In addition to building a car that is powered by a CO2 cannister and capable of completing the 22-metre track, they will also be encouraged to look at how they market and promote their designs and racing team.”

She continued: “Shropshire was the home of the industrial revolution and we’d love to make a real impact in this competition, which is run on a regional, national and international stage.

“We have joined forces with STEM Workshop and local businesses, including MyWorkwear, to come up with a way where we can provide assistance and facilities to help our teams develop the best possible car.”

There are spaces for 12 Shropshire schools and four have already signed-up, including Burton Borough, Hadley Learning Centre, The Marches School and TPS Trust.

Leanne Mee, founder of The STEM Workshop, added: “This is a real opportunity for schools and businesses to work together to develop the next generation of designers, engineers, marketeers and commercial experts.

“We need to make sure Shropshire has a talent pool it can dip into in order to maintain our reputation as a world leader in engineering and manufacturing.

"And what better way to do that then build, race and win a F1 in Schools competition."