Pupils on the starting grid in racers they have built

Greenpower Education Trust
Greenpower Education Trust

Pupils from a school in Shefford will be competing in a contest this weekend, in cars they have designed and built themselves.

The team from Samuel Whitbread Academy will be among the many taking part at the 2015 International Final hosted by the charity, the Greenpower Education Trust, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.

The trust works to promote sustainable engineering among the next generation of engineers and is holding the event on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday,October 11, with a total of 10 teams from Bedfordshire.

The schools will be racing in Greenpower’s IET Formula 24 or F24+ category, having designed and built their all-electric vehicles, and this is the first time Greenpower’s International Final will be contested on the 1.48 mile American-style banked oval circuit.

Overall, 110 school teams across Greenpower’s IET Formula 24 (11-16 year olds) and IET Formula 24+ (16-25 year olds) race categories will compete at the International Final along with 40 Kit Car teams and a host of entrants in the Silverline Corporate Challenge. Participants come from all over the UK, with teams also entered from the USA, Poland and Portugal.

The sustainably-powered F24 and F24+ single-seaters all feature the same electric motor and 12 volt batteries supplied by Greenpower. Students put the cars together themselves as part of an enhanced STEM education programme, and design their own bodywork using Siemens Solid Edge software.

Charity patron David Richards, chairman of Aston Martin and Prodrive, will be in attendance to support the young racers, as will TV’s technology guru, Jason Bradbury, commentating on proceedings as well as hosting the prize giving.

Entry to Rockingham for the International Final is charged at £5 per car for spectators. As part of the Science and Engineering Fair, hosted by Greenpower over the weekend, there will be interactive stands from various institutions and engineering companies including Siemens, McLaren Automotive, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and MIRA.

There will also be an opportunity for young guests to try out a Greenpower Goblin car, designed and built by one of the many primary schools taking part in the Greenpower Goblin entry-level race category.

Greenpower Education Trust CEO, Jeremy Way, said: “Our International Final is the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work by schools, colleges and universities who have competed in the series of Greenpower heats held throughout 2015.

“As our flagship event, it’s not only a celebration of the very best young engineering talent in our country, and from further afield, but an opportunity to show what’s possible in terms of sustainable engineering and design. We are proud to be hosting our final at Rockingham and especially look forward to the Siemens Digital Award being judged by McLaren Automotive, Red Bull Technology and Nissan.

“We also have some exciting announcements to make about educational boards and institutions who will be supporting Greenpower this academic year.”

Visit www.greenpower.co.uk