From education to employment

Aspiring engineers ‘drive’ towards the future

Young motor vehicle engineers from West Hill School and Denton Community College have experienced the future of personal transport with the ‘Greenpower’ kit car challenge.

The teams, with the help of Tameside College teachers, raced their hand-built electric powered kit cars against competitors at Aintree racecourse in September.

The Greenpower Trust, which organises the Greenpower Challenge, is a national initiative to encourage more young people to take an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. With the registration of electric cars in the UK growing by 2400% since 2013, the need for experts in the industry is set to grow massively.

The pupils spent two days at Tameside College working in the motor vehicle department with teachers, Peter Knapper and Darren Ratcliffe building their kit cars, which are assembled from scratch. The winners of the challenge are determined by the overall distance travelled, so pupils had to develop the cars’ gearing systems, motors and aerodynamics to improve performance.

The students took to the track with 29 other teams from schools, colleges, universities and clubs from across the UK and beyond. In the final race, Denton Community College came 22nd and West Hill School came 19th, beating experienced competitors.

Will Castle, pupil at Denton Community College who took part in the Greenpower Challenge, said: “It was a really good experience and a fun task to complete. It showed us the quality of the go kart and how much fun motor vehicle engineering can be. I got to drive the kart and it was amazing!”

Peter Knapper, motor vehicle teacher at Tameside College, said: “It was a fantastic day for all of us, including the students, staff and everyone else involved from both schools. From building the car to crossing the finish line on race day, the students were fantastic and ran the project like clockwork. It’s so important that young people can experience something that is going to be a big part of our future very soon and build something that they can be proud of.”

To find out more about courses at Tameside College, call 0161 908 6600.

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