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Racing ahead with Richard Crosse

Richard CrosseClass 5 at Richard Crosse C of E Primary School, Kings Bromley, Staffordshire won a competition run by the APC to become one of eight schools to build and race a Greenpower Formula Goblin G2 electric go-kart.

The project is funded by the ESPRC (through the APC), and each winning school is partnered with an APC-Spoke, offering guidance and support to the students. Partnered with WMG in January 2018, 32 children aged 9 to 11 made up of 19 from Year 6 and 13 from Year 5 began working on the car. To align with the Year 6 children working towards their KS2 SATS, the breakdown of the tasks is as follows:

  • Spring term 2018: Year 6 to assemble the car kit
  • Year 5 to run a whole-school car bodywork design competition
  • Summer term 2018: Year 5 to build and decorate the car bodywork
  • Year 5 and 6 to complete driver training and race-day preparation

Each week at least nine of the children work on the project, under the supervision of their class teacher, Mr Joe Davies, and/or Dr Antony Allen from WMG. Richard CrosseChildren work in two teams of three to assemble parts of the car. A third group also record a vlog.

Build sessions take place at the school on Friday afternoons. As well as building the car, during the spring term all of the Year 6 children have used Siemens SolidEdge CAD software to check component assembly and get a better feel for how the car goes together. Each week all of the pupils complete a worksheet explaining what they’ve worked on and how it went. They are encouraged to draw diagrams, label drawings, and link to screenshots from the CAD software.The children have also been creating individual portfolios as part of an AQA award in Systems, Design and Manufacturing.

The worksheets, collated over the whole project, will create an individual project portfolio for each pupil, and put together they create the team portfolio which can earn extra points on race day.

Two engineering undergraduate students Shafiul Alam and Gosia Wojtala from Warwick Racing, and Jen McGlade from the APC have also taken time to visit the children and support and inspire them.

Team effort

Richard CrosseThe whole project has a real community feel to it. Parents have created a storage shed for the car, there’s been a car bodywork design competition for the whole school, weekly vlogs and a special display area in the school. Overall, more than 100 pupils aged 3 to 11 are involved in this STEM project.

As we enter the summer term the mechanical build of the car is almost complete. Year 5 are about to start on the bodywork build and integrating design proposals from winning entries in each class.

What’s next

In June, Class 5 visited WMG and the APC showcase. They took part in a CAD workshop, learnt about life as a university student, and, at the APC, heard about 21st century challenges for the automotive industry.

In July the children will race their car against other schools, including the other competition winners, at Rockingham Speedway in Northamptonshire. – a fantastic end to their final term at primary school, leaving them with an exciting and positive view of STEM projects as they embark on their secondary school education.

The future

What then for the Formula Goblin racing car? The plan is to take it apart and begin the process over again in 2019, the current Year 5 pupils (at Richard Crosse) will become Year 6 project experts, and a whole new set of children will join them in the bodywork construction role.

You can follow the weekly progress of the children on Twitter or You Tube.