Organised by charity Greenpower Education Trust, the Greenpower Challenge aims to gets young people enthusiastic about STEM subjects, including science and engineering. Every year teams are challenged to design, build and race an electric car. Each vehicle can be built from scratch or a kit car can be used, with three different age categories available to enter.
In the UK, more than 700 teams comprising of 10,000 students, take part in the challenge annually and following the event’s success in the UK, it has now grown to become a global programme.
After hearing about the challenge, in 2017 a team of volunteers from Stannah’s manufacturing site in Andover, approached Bourne Community College to offer their time and expertise. The collaboration was such a success that the team were delighted to support the college for a second year, along with providing pit lane equipment, gazebos and livery for the race days.
Alan Stannah, company chairman, who was instrumental in the original idea to offer help to the college, explained: “Helping the team from Bourne Community College to develop their ideas has been key to our Joseph Stannah Foundation activities this year. Promoting engineering and related sciences as a career is extremely important to us”.
The volunteers from Stannah worked with the students to design and build their vehicle. After competing in heats throughout the year and despite wet conditions, the electric car made it through its first two races and secured a spot in the final, qualifying in 73rd place out of 258 competitors.
Showing great determination and overcoming some technical issues on the day, the team went on to finish 41st in the final, which was a fantastic result and the best placing ever achieved by the college in its ten year history of entering.
Stannah engineer Andy Hoath was the driving force behind the project and gave up many hours of his spare time, along with co-ordinating the other Stannah volunteers. Andy commented: “Every year the team from Bourne Community College is doing better and better and we’re thrilled we’ve been able to support them to achieve their best result to date. It’s testament to the commitment of all the students, who worked really hard to make it happen.”
He added: “The Greenpower Challenge is a fantastic way to encourage young people into the STEM subjects and it’s great to see so many students who are so passionate and enthusiastic about them.
“All the volunteers from Stannah really enjoy working with the college and as well as helping with this project, we were delighted to be asked to attend a college open day, where we gave students an even greater understanding of what it’s like to work in industry. We hope we may have helped inspire the next generation of engineers.”
For more details about the Greenpower Challenge, visit www.greenpower.co.uk