Primary school children build electric racing cars with help from WMG Warwick
Primary school children from three TSSMAT (The Small Schools Multi-Academy Trust) schools from Staffordshire will be building and racing their own Greenpower Formula Goblin electric cars with support from WMG at the University of Warwick. All three schools will compete at a national Greenpower race-day event in June.
Children in years 5 and 6 at The Howard Primary School in Elford and St Mary’s CofE Primary in Colton will join pupils at The Richard Crosse School in Kings Bromley in this challenge, building on the successful launch of the initiative at Richard Crosse in 2018.
The children, aged 9-11, began assembling their cars from a kit of parts received back in January. When the kit is complete they will design and construct bespoke bodywork for their cars before moving on to driver training in the school playgrounds to ensure they are fully prepared for race day in the summer term.
The project embodies key practical engineering skills, working together as a team, and writing up their progress in their individual project portfolios to earn Greenpower STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) awards from the AQA examination board.
Each school team also produces regular video diary updates to share their progress online with peers, siblings, parents and the wider community. Their Twitter handles are @StMarysRacing, @TheHowardRacing and @RCrosseRacing.
Formula Goblin is one of a series of age-graded motor-racing challenges set up by the Greenpower Education Trust to address the skills gap that is growing in the UK automotive industry. It is designed to engage students with maths, science and design technology, at early age and promoting equality and team working regardless of economic background or gender. The project aims to raise pupils’ awareness and enjoyment of STEM subjects and inspire them to consider STEM careers in their future.
This year TSSMAT wanted to expand the project across more of their schools to create a larger local community of budding young engineers. The project is funded by the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre, a government body established to support and promote the development of next generation automotive technology here in the UK. Direct support for the schools is delivered by WMG at The University of Warwick who are a member of the APC’s higher-education spoke community.
Dr Antony Allen from WMG who will be working closely with the schools comments:
“It’s fantastic to expand this project to two more schools within TSSMAT. One of the best aspects of my role here at WMG is the wonderful experience of working with future engineers of all ages, from my post-graduate Warwick automotive students through to excited year 5 and 6 pupils at our local primary schools. It’s a very rewarding experience for everyone involved”
Executive head teacher of the trust, Mr Paul Lovern, comments:
“I am thrilled that once again, The Small Schools Multi Academy Trust is involved in the Greenpower initiative.
“The children at all three schools have been inspired to take part and develop their engineering skills. This project embraces so many areas of the curriculum and demonstrates a curriculum that is enriching, at its best! I hope that from the ‘green shoots’ that are emerging, the children are inspired to become engineers of the future.
“I look forward to Race Day, however I will have to remain very neutral with regards to who becomes the overall winning school!”