Palletways hopes to inspire the creativity and future engineering dreams of local primary school pupils through a charitable donation. Palletways Bristol in Avonmouth has partnered with Horfield Church of England Primary School’s engineering club in Westbury-on-Trym to sponsor its Go-Karting racing and design project, donating £500 to cover the club’s operating costs for this academic year.
For the school, this is particularly exciting as it’s the first time the club’s participants, Year 6 children, will be able to compete against other schools since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Go-Karting activity is a national initiative run by Greenpower Education Trust which challenges students to design, build and race an electric car. Greenpower works with 700 teams and more than 10,000 students, hosting 35 racing heats throughout the year, culminating in a grand final in the summer. It’s designed for students interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), providing a great opportunity to learn technical skills, be creative and have fun. The challenge encourages students to get hands-on whilst learning about sustainability and harnessing the excitement of motorsport.
Schools purchase the kit and framework from Greenpower Education Trust but it’s then up to students to assemble the kits and design the body of the car themselves, using a variety of materials and designing the bodywork to be aerodynamic and stylish. The build also introduces children to basic mechanics and electrics.
This year, Horfield Church of England Primary School’s ‘The Tools Rule Club’ team is embarking on the challenge. Steve Grant is overseeing the project. With an engineering background, Steve empowers the team of twelve Year 6 students, six boys and six girls, who meet once a week after school.
Commenting, Steve said: “The school has been involved with Greenpower for three years but this is the first time we’ll compete in official races and events, which is really exciting, not just for the club’s members but the whole school. The first year we’d just bought the kit when we went into national lockdown and the children were schooled from home. The second year the children worked in their bubbles to build the Go-Kart, but there were no organised races.
“This year official races are on and we’re getting the Go-Kart ready for our races on 7 May and 21 May. The children have coped very well under difficult circumstances over the past few years, but the pandemic curtailed extra-curricular activities and organised trips so we’re delighted to be able to compete this year, giving the children something fun and exciting to do, to make up for the activities they’ve missed.
“The sponsorship from Palletways Bristol is overwhelming as it allows us to finish the Go-Kart, to test drive it ahead of the races, and most importantly take our team racing!”
Matt Carter, Sales Manager at Palletways Bristol, said: “It’s a great initiative and we were delighted to get involved and help our local primary school. We’ve been down to the school already to see the Go-Kart in action and being test-driven and we plan to cheer them on at the races too. Activities like this inspire and empower the next generation of engineers, both boys and girls, by showing them how much fun it can be to work together and learn new skills.”
Once it’s raced, the school’s Go-Kart will be displayed at the school summer fair and showcased in school assembly before being dismantled and packed away ready for next year.
If you’d like to follow the school’s progress, they’re competing in the Renishaw Miskin Goblins event on 7 May at Renishaw Miskin, Wales, followed by the Renishaw New Mills Goblins event on 21 May at Wotton-under-Edge. https://www.greenpower.co.uk/