Young Sparks Race for Green Technology
09 Jun 2010
Greenpower, supporting Britain’s young engineers for more than a decade, offer a series of competitions for 9–25 year olds, invited to design, build and race their vehicles on full-size circuits.
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Young people are being given a chance to get involved in the creation of their very own electric car and explore the principles of cleaner technology. Greenpower, who have been supporting Britain’s young engineers for more than a decade, offer a series of competitions in which 9–25 year olds are invited to design, build and race their vehicles on full-size circuits.
The aim is to promote greater interest in the fields of sustainable engineering, energy efficiency, green transport and environmentally-sound technology, and encourage students to pursue the subjects at a higher level.
As the competition advances through the age groups, it becomes more challenging and engaging. At primary level, pupils are asked to build a standard kit car to give them their first hands-on taste of engineering and an introduction to the excitement of motorsport. Formula 24 invites secondary pupils to design and build from scratch a 24-volt electric car that can reach speeds of 30 miles an hour and run for four hours at a time. Formula 24+ for 16–25 year olds, requires the production of a more competitive machine. Sixth formers at the Leigh Technology Academy in Kent, for example, used a wind tunnel to explore how drag would effect their vehicle’s performance.
The Greenpower challenge ends with endurance tournaments at world famous racing circuits. Teams compete in local heats across the country to qualify for the grand final at Goodwood in West Sussex. Last season, more than 1,000 children in 95 teams representing over 70 schools, took part in the finals, watched by some 3,000 spectators. A record number of 20 vehicles qualified for the Formula 24+ Championship, won by Sandbach High School for Girls in Cheshire.
From start to finish, every aspect of the challenge can be fused into areas of the school curriculum at various key stage levels: such as graphics, model making, marketing and sponsorship, photography and video production, event organising, textile design and development of team clothing, data logging and electronics. The continuous nature of the project also means young engineers can stay with the competition throughout their education, getting more enthusiastic as they go.
“Involvement is very rewarding,” says Greenpower co-ordinator Ian Grant, who is passionate about the competition and the excellent opportunities it offers. “The students enjoy having the opportunity to talk to engineers and ask for advice. They also love sharing their experiences of the design and build of their car. For young members it is an excellent opportunity to work independently or as a panel. For more established engineers, Greenpower is a great way to pass on their wealth of experience to the next generation.”
Greenpower’s brand new state-of-the-art
eco-headquarters will officially open
16th July 2010 and will host workshops
for schools and colleges on sustainability issues
Contact: The Greenpower Centre,
Arundel Road, Fontwell,
West Sussex, BN18 0SD
Tel: +44 (0)1243 552 305
Business Academy Bexley
and Leigh Academy at the Formula 24 final
Photo: copyright Greenpower
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