Huntcliff School, in Kirton on Lindsey, put together this article to tell people about their experience building and racing an electric car at the Hull Street Race on Sunday, 28th April.
Read all about their exciting journey below…
We are a small secondary school who sits on the county border between North Lincs and Lincs and for years we have been hoping to afford a green car. Thanks to our Enterprise Advisor and links with the local college we were able to buy a car for the first time this year. On Wednesday afternoons we run an Enrichment lesson for the whole school as most of our children travel many miles by various buses to attend school and cannot afford to stay for extra-curricular activities after school.
Enrichment activities range from sport to craft to volunteering and enterprise and since Christmas our Green Power team have met each Wednesday and worked with the support of college staff and our EDF Energy engineers to build the car ready to race. Getting it ready for Blyton test race was a real challenge but the group worked in school time and during holidays to get it built. It was so worth it as our car performed brilliantly on the day.
The students are an eclectic mix – some highly able students with aspirations to become engineers; others have significant special educational needs and are part of our personalised Gateway programme for those who struggle with social emotional difficulties or autism and are not fully ready to enter mainstream education full time; others simply fancied building or driving a car so chose this enrichment activity. There are three girls in the team. It has been fascinating to watch the relationships develop and the children working and learning together to design and build the car.
To be part of the team we interviewed each child to make sure they had the passion to be part of the team and assigned jobs to each. One student looked after the portfolio and has photographed week by week progress; another was in charge of the batteries; another the logistics; another finance so each student chose their role in the team. It has been a learning experience for us all. One student at Blyton learned that if you connect both ends of the battery together you create a mini bomb and destroy your battery! Another learned that he wasn’t up for driving but discovered his leadership skills in bossing others
It has been a real community experience. EDF Energy began with one engineer, our Enterprise Advisor Gary helping us then along came George, an Electrical Engineer Apprentice with EDF Energy – he’s a keen enthusiast of electric vehicles, has a Zoe and has built Sinclair C5 cars. Two parent then also joined us, one electrical engineer and another a mechanical engineering tutor at the local college, North Lindsey College, Scunthorpe.
They have been amazing in instructing the children to make the car and shown the most amazing patience when we got things wrong! Parents have volunteered to buy parts such as slick tyres, a go pro or simply offered help to take children or kit to the events. Without this community support, the car would still be sitting in its boxes!
I cannot recommend this experience highly enough. Next year we want to raise funds to buy a second car and a goblin to then bring the local primary school up to work on it during enrichment. The journey will continue…watch this space!