Harrow Way’s Green Power Challenge Go Kart, donated to the school by the Joseph Stannah Foundation, is race ready. The Year 8-11 students recently took the Go Kart on its maiden voyage as they test drove it around the school’s tennis courts, putting both their Go Kart building and driving skills to the test.

Since September, Harrow Way’s STEM Club students and the Stannah STEM ambassadors have been meeting weekly as students assembled the Go Kart before designing, building and fitting its exterior.

Commenting on the value of the project Donna Robertson, Curriculum Leader of IT and Computer Science said: “This whole process has been an incredible learning experience for these students. They’ve got hands on and learned so much about mechanics and electronics, which tools to use and how to interpret instruction manuals.

“They’ve also been hugely privileged to spend a couple of hours each week being guided and mentored by the Stannah STEM ambassadors. They are seeing first-hand how the lessons and skills learned in school and in STEM Club translate directly into careers with a leading company.”

For the Go Kart’s first official outing it was taken through a rigorous health and safety check by the students, the Harrow Way team and Stannah engineers. Students received an in-depth how-to on wearing the crash helmet and the start/stop function. Once fully briefed and good to go each team member enjoyed driving the Go Kart around the tennis court a couple times cheered on by their peers and Stannah engineers.

Richard Baugh, Engineering Programme Manager at Stannah, adds: “Projects like this are key to our Joseph Stannah Foundation aim of promoting engineering and related sciences as a career. Working with the students and seeing them apply what they have learnt to this project has been extremely rewarding. It is a wonderful opportunity to relate theoretical work to a practical application and the students have been fully engaged. We now look forward to the next stage where we will help the students develop the go kart further with testing and ultimately taking part in the Greenpower race days.”

Greenpower Education Trust is a UK based charity which gets young people enthusiastic about science and engineering by challenging them to design, build and race an electric car. The Trust supplies age appropriate kit cars, which can be built in school, college or elsewhere and raced at motorsport venues at Greenpower organised events. The Challenge is adapted to suit three age appropriate categories: 9 to 11, 11 to 16 and 16 to 25. It is the only STEM enrichment provider to run the same basic concept across such a wide age group, allowing for excellent progression throughout.

Donna Robertson concludes: ”This is such an exciting time for the team. We’ve got track practice in April, which will help identify potential drivers for when we’re racing the car, and we still have some further work to do on the aerodynamics. Students also need to have the correct kit to race in so some fundraising is on the agenda too.”