Wednesday, May 25, 2016

British Ports Group Helps Unemployed Youngsters with Electric Car Project

Scheme Designed to Engage Young People in STEM Subjects
Shipping News Feature
UK – KIngston upon Hull may well be the place to be for electric car enthusiasts in Summer 2017 when teams from the regions unemployed youngsters will unveil their creations made possible by a cooperation between the University of Hull, Associated British Ports (ABP), Hull City Council and East Riding Council working collaboratively as Green Port Hull. The Green Port Growth Programme is funding 10 Formula 24+ car kits at a cost of £20,000, which will be offered to groups of young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET).

The Greenpower Education Trust’s electric car challenge requires young people, guided by their teachers and an industry mentor, to design, build and then race an electric car. The Trust currently works with 500 schools and 8000 students across the UK and now the Greenpower team has brought the challenge to the Humber under the banner of Project Blyth, with the aim of holding a race in Hull in 2017.

The national project is designed to engage young people with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and practical engineering and Greenpower racing offers categories for all ages; IET Formula Goblin is aimed at schoolchildren between the ages of 9-11; IET Formula 24 is for students between the ages of 11-16, while IRT Formula 24+ is for young people aged 16-25. Rachel Addison, ABP Communications Manager Humber said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for schools, community groups and businesses in the Humber region to get involved in a really exciting project. To be able to design, build and race an electric car around the streets of the Humber’s capital city is something that I’m sure will appeal to lots of our young people and ABP is delighted to lend its support both as a business and as part of the Green Port Hull team. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how the project progresses.”

Groups who enter the challenge are asked to fundraise to purchase a kit car, while sponsors of the challenge can opt to pair with a school or institution and provide half the cost of a car as well as mentoring support. Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said:

“I am delighted that the councils are supporting Project Blyth as it is something that aspiring young people across the region can get involved in and I believe it is a fantastic step forward for the region. It will allow teachers to hone education skills focused around engineering and the renewable sector in the city, ensuring we are both preparing and inspiring the next generation for what the future holds.

“The funding for Project Blyth is an important addition to our skills provision for this critically important industrial sector and will provide an excellent skills progression path for students who wish to pursue this field of work further. I look forward to seeing the results of this project and the races that will take place in the summer next year.”

The project is currently recruiting schools and businesses from across the Humber region with a view to hosting the inaugural Humber race in the summer of 2017. Project Blyth Coordinator Vaughan Curnow commented:

“This project engages with all abilities and gets young people enthused, engaged and thinking about what they to do with their lives. Not only does the scheme allow young people to develop STEM skills, it also teaches those softer skills of team working, communication and assertiveness. It can also foster improved community relations as schools and businesses work together to get the cars designed, built and roadworthy so they can race.”

Photo: An IET Formula 24 race about to get under way.