College celebrates 15 years of inspiring student racing event
Published: 22nd June 2021
The region’s largest college group is celebrating 15 years since establishing the aspirational Greenpower racing event in Cornwall, helping to inspire thousands of school students into engineering education.
The exciting event, held annually at Predannack Airfield near Mullion, sees school teams from across the south west designing, building and racing electric powered cars, gaining a unique and hands-on experience of real world engineering applications.
“This year marks an incredible achievement for Greenpower and The Cornwall College Group,” said project co-ordinator Vaughan Curnow, who helped to establish the event in Cornwall.
“I’ve been involved with Greenpower in Cornwall from the start and it is wonderful to see young people engaging with engineering,” he continued.
“I’d like to thank all the schools for dedicating time and effort to the project and The Cornwall College Group for its continued support of education and widening participation in the region.
“We are also extremely grateful to RNAS Culdrose for the enormous amount of support they offer, both for the use of Predennack Airfield and for the group of enthusiastic volunteers who take part during the competition. Without their help, we simply wouldn’t be able to run the event each year.”
Established in the county in 2006 as a partnership between The Cornwall College Group and the Greenpower Education Trust, the event is helping to tackle the skills shortage in the industry by engaging young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education at an important juncture in their lives.
Over 20 cars from primary and secondary schools in the region took to the track on race day on June 16. Primary students competed in the ‘Goblin Formula’ event where each school is supplied with a kit car which has to be built by the team in the months leading up to the event. Cars are then entered into various categories for the chance of winning a Greenpower award.
Secondary schools and youth organisations took part in the Formula 24 challenge, where they get the opportunity to build and race, using supplied motor and batteries only, either a kit car or one of their own design.
Winners on the day included Richard Lander School, Truro School, Truro High School, Mylor Bridge Community Primary and Egloskerry Primary.
“Although we had to pare back the scale of this year’s event due to Covid restrictions, it didn’t affect the electric atmosphere on the day,” said Conor Kendrew, curriculum development manager for The Cornwall College Group.
“Greenpower is a wonderful initiative for students. The schools involved embed engineering and sustainable technology knowledge directly into their curriculums as the students’ design and build their cars. This means that the students are benefiting from STEM education across the year,” continued Conor.
“Nurturing a skilled workforce for the engineering and technology sector is so important, and it’s exciting to think that the talented young people taking part in Greenpower may well become the master engineers and technicians of the future.”
For more information on the range of STEM subjects available across The Cornwall College Group visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0845 22 32 567.