Pupils from Year 10 visited Thornton Science Park to start work on a two-year STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) project, which has been established with staff from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Chester - Bobby Manesh and Rory Thomson - together with staff from UCEA - David Bolam and Ian Dykes.
Students will work in the mechanical engineering workshops at Thornton Science Park once a month throughout the project, designing and making a sustainable green electric car that, once built, will be raced against other cars from schools all around the country, through the Greenpower Education Trust – a charity which aims to advance education in the subjects of sustainable engineering and technology to young people.
Parents from UCEA have also become involved and are offering sponsorship.
The team comprises students Jamie Cavanagh, voted as group leader, his deputy Marcel Kucharski, with Liam Terry, Morgan Parry, Ben Taylor, Ben Jones, Ben Walters, Albie Rossiter, William Nuttall and Aaron Owens.
When the boys arrived at Thornton, they were given their brief by university staff and set to work assembling the kit chassis of their car. Over the next few months, they will be developing their car to make it as efficient as possible, to meet the challenge of making the car with the longest endurance. Ultimately, once the car is completed, they will be racing it against other schools on a real racetrack.
HE STEM coordinator at the University of Chester, Angela Lupton, said: “We are all extremely excited to be designing our very own green-powered car. This project has targeted boys in particular, to encourage and inspire them to consider taking up STEM subjects at university.
“The University of Chester also runs STEM workshops for girls; for example, on March 7, a Cyber Girls day is taking place at Thornton with the RAF, to celebrate International Women’s Day. We will be charting the boys’ progress with interest over the coming months.”
Jamie Cavanagh, a Year 10 student at the academy, said: “It is fantastic to be a part of this project to build and race a renewable energy electric car that we have made ourselves. I felt so proud that the team voted for me to be their team leader and I will try to show the qualities that they saw in me by voting for me.”
Design and technology teacher at UCEA David Bolam added: “This is an exciting and rare opportunity for young people in this community to show their true worth and develop a project that will not only help them in their future STEM careers, it will also be an exciting challenge for them to create a working racing car and then race it at a real racetrack against other students from around the whole country.
“The project will also develop their knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing designers and engineers in the future, by highlighting the need for alternative energies and sustainable designs for the future good of the planet.”