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UCEA pupils perform first test drive of their green car. -
Students from the University Church of England Academy (UCEA) in Ellesmere Port have passed a key milestone in their efforts to create a sustainable racing car – their first test drive!
A group of boys studying Year 10 STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) subjects have been working with University of Chester academics at Thornton Science Park to design, build and race a green powered car. They are taking part in a competition hosted by Greenpower Education Trust. Later in the year, once the car has been built, they will then have the opportunity to race it against other cars from schools all around the country, on a real racetrack.
The group visits the Mechanical Engineering workshops at Thornton once a month, and has already been making significant progress since the project began in January. The team have been developing their car to make it as efficient as possible, to meet the challenge of making the car with the longest endurance.
During their last workshop, the boys managed to (briefly) test drive the car, within the Thornton Science Park workshop. ‘Chief Engineer’ Albie Rossiter was the first to test the car, and Group Leader Jamie Cavanagh provided quality assurance ahead of the test.
David Bolam, Design and Technology teacher at UCEA said: “After a few minor hiccups, the engine of the car started sweetly and it was wonderful to perform our first, very brief test drive. The team was buzzing with excitement, and we are now concentrating our thoughts around the body shape. The students are now starting the conceptual modelling phase for the car body, which is being modelled in Styrofoam, before starting the digital design on computers.
He added: “It is wonderful to see the boys’ self-confidence growing, as they begin to realise that this is not just a pipe dream but they have actually created a viable racing car. There is also a growing realisation that, as well as achieving pride in their own work, they will actually get to race the car themselves. For me it has been a pleasure to watch these young men mature into budding engineers willing to take on the challenges and to flourish.”
Student Albie Rossiter said: “To finally be able to drive the car after all this time was such a great moment for the whole team. From seeing the car in its early stages it was sometimes hard to imagine it actually working but the staff at Thornton Science Park have helped us all so much. With some more modifications we will be ready to race the car on a track against other schools!”
Angela Lupton, HE STEM Coordinator at the University of Chester added: “It’s great to see the students using their science and engineering skills and working as a team to create this alternative energy car. We are all getting excited about competing in our first race in September, at the Aintree Racecourse!”
UCEA’s GreenPower team is celebrating another success. The team has been chosen as a finalist in the Cheshire Schools Awards 2018 – in the Class/ Team of the Year category. Student and staff representatives are looking forward to attending the ceremony on Tuesday June 19.