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Future engineers hit the racing track to win a place at the Greenpower International Finals

Date: 26 Jun

Students from over 30 schools from Cornwall and Devon met at Predannack Airfield recently to compete in the annual Greenpower Education Trust IET Formula 24 and 24+ Competition.

Students have worked on their cars for weeks in the lead up to the event. The aim is to design, build and race the electric cars to win a place in the International Greenpower Final in October at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire.


Austin Tolfrey, student and driver of Liskeard School and Community College:  “It has been a good learning curve; it’s a good opportunity to get into engineering.  It’s definitely inspired me to be an engineer and work to that level in the field.”


Greenpower is a UK charity who aims to bring to life Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by engaging young people from the ages of 9 to 25 in a hands on project. Funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company. A government run initiative to improve career prospects for young people across the UK .


Across the country over 10,000 young people work in teams throughout the year and collaborate with local employers for advice and guidance, to construct a winning car before battling it out in 90 minute regional heats across the UK.


Along with local support the IET Formula competition has reached global level with sponsors: Siemens, The Institute of Engineering, BMW i, Silverline and Solid Edge.


Vaughan Curnow, Greenpower Education Trust Project Coordinator said: “The one thing that has stood out is employers acknowledging Greenpower. There’s a lot of project management, engineering, team work involved, so there’s a lot of students, male and female who go down the engineering route or just get a greater understanding for STEM which is really important.”


Cornwall hosted two race days this season of the 32 regional event. The IET formula Goblin was held at Cornwall Airport Newquay and supported by Cornwall College the IET formula 24 & 24+ was held at Helston’s Predannack Airfield which was supported by RNAS Culdrose.  The regional heat at Predannack Airfield saw 33 secondary schools and colleges across Cornwall and Devon, come together to race for a qualifying position in the top 3; the furthest distance in the 90 minute race take the winning positions.


The Cornwall IET F24 heat winners were: Richard Lander School, Plymouth High School for Girls, Sir James Smith School.


Tom Hurdwell, Design and Technology Teacher, Liskeard School and Community College said: “The students are actually talking socially about engineering, about how jet engines work, which is amazing and they are just talking naturally about engineering so that’s the inspiring part for me.  That’s what Greenpower generates.”