For the third year running Stannah, through their Joseph Stannah Foundation, have taken part in the Greenpower challenge. The Greenpower Trust is a UK based charity which supports careers in engineering by engaging with young people through the excitement of motorsport.
Over 700 teams take part each year designing, building and racing electric cars, progressing through several heats in an attempt to reach the International Final.
This year Stannah once again mentored a team of 11-16 year olds from Bourne Community College in Southbourne near Chichester. Bourne have been entering a team for over 10 years but the involvement of Stannah has been key to improving their skills. One of the teachers involved in the group, Dene Ellis, Extended Leadership and ICT STEAM Co-ordinator values the input. “Having Stannah and their apprentices helping our students adds another dimension to what we do. It helps show the children what sort of careers are open to them if they study STEM subjects”.
The impact of the team has encouraged over 50 children at the college to study STEM subjects for GCSE at the College this year, that’s over one third of the year group. The input from the Joseph Stannah Foundation helped the College reached the finals for the second year in a row. With a starting position of 52 on the grid out of total of 100 for the qualifier race, it was always going to be difficult to climb up the board. The conditions were near perfect with a dry track, bright sunshine and virtually no wind. The car performed well and with two pit stops and three different drivers it completed 15 laps in the allotted 90 minutes but had slipped to 75th. Afterwards the waterproofing of the internal elements was upgraded as the weather forecast had deteriorated. In the final, in spite of a great team effort, the car experienced a blown tyre and changing it took up valuable time seeing them finish at number 87. Andy Hoath, Head of Engineering at Stannah, has supported Bourne Community College for the last three years. “It has been a privilege to help the Bourne Team and I know they are keen to get back in to training for next year”.
The Stannah apprentices and graduates themselves entered a team for the first time. Headed up by Callum Buck, one of our Trainee Manufacturing Engineers, the F24+ series is super competitive. Some teams take years to reach a competitive position so qualifying of the finals in their first year was a major achievement. By the time the cars lined up for the start of the race the weather had taken a distinct turn for the worse, the heavens had opened and the track was awash. Jonathan Naish, one of Stannah’s mechanical design engineers, settled himself in for a very wet 60 minute drive. The first lap started badly, after hitting some standing water Jonathan spun the car but recovered well gradually climbing up the board. One of the most difficult aspects of the race is to use the car’s batteries as efficiently as possible to get as many laps in without running out of power. Sadly, with only a couple of minutes to go the car came to a halt, a combination of cold weather and wet conditions not having helped. Despite this the Stannah Swift finished a very credible 22nd out of 33 competitors after covering 21.3 miles at an average speed of 24.9 mph. Callum Buck commented “the design of our car meant we didn’t make it easy for ourselves, working in such small spaces but we are sure we can learn from the experience and hope to come back next year with some great improvements”.
Stannah Chairman, Alan Stannah, has been involved from the start and was delighted to be able to attend the finals. “Helping Bourne Community College with their entry is one of the key parts of our Joseph Stannah Foundation activities. Working with students through an exciting challenge like this is a great way to encourage them to consider engineering in its many forms as a worthwhile and rewarding career”.