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Renishaw collaborates with Greenpower to inspire primary school students

As part of its continued support for the Greenpower Education Trust, global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, hosted teams competing in Greenpower Goblins, a competition for primary school-aged children (ages 10 and 11) that challenges them to design, build and race battery-powered karts. During May, Renishaw hosted race heats both at Miskin, its South Wales facility and at its New Mills headquarters site in Gloucestershire. During the two days, student teams were challenged to showcase and race their self-built electric cars, giving them an insight into the fun and interesting projects that engineering provides.

At the start of the day, the teams’ vehicles were lined up and inspected on criteria outlined at the beginning of the project, such as creating a cockpit that would fit the tallest driver. Throughout the day, there was a chance for each team to participate in competitions including a drag race and slalom challenges. The drag race consisted of two cars running as fast as they could in a straight-line, while the slalom event was a short, weaving course with gates built from cones, around which the drivers had to manoeuvre. Horfield C of E Primary School (Bristol) and Beachborough School (Northamptonshire) were the overall winners for the Miskin and New Mills events, respectively.

Schools that take part are given a complete flat packed kit with simple instructions that allow the team to build a car. Greenpower Goblins is designed to teach children teamwork and communication skills, and also an introduction to basic mechanics and electrics, enhancing their schools’ design technology curriculum.

“The Greenpower Goblin events are all about creativity and innovation, aiming to engage young people in hands-on challenges that might spark their interest in engineering,” explained Vanessa Gutowski-Smith, Events Officer at Greenpower Education Trust. “The children gain insight into the design and manufacturing process, as well as the fun and competitive nature of building and racing. By working with younger students we also hope to break down stereotypes and promote diversity. For example, in the latest races at Renishaw we had a great mix and even had an all-girl team, showing that engineering is for everybody.”

“It is really important for Renishaw to sponsor these events and show prospective engineers at all ages the engaging careers businesses like us can provide,” added Rebecca Bound, Early Careers STEM Outreach Officer at Renishaw. “We support events like Greenpower Goblins because they get students excited about science while giving them hands-on experience in engineering and developing vital skills such as mathematics and team work, that they can apply throughout their education and career.”

The Greenpower initiative had its first event in 1999 and has grown significantly, working with over 8,000 young people across the country. Renishaw has supported the event for sixteen years, and aims to continue supporting innovative engineering events.

For more information on Renishaw’s education outreach programme or the Greenpower project, visit www.renishaw.com/educationoutreach.