Greenpower Education Trust is a UK based charity with an outstanding track record which gets young people enthusiastic about science and engineering by challenging them to design, build and race an electric car.
The Greenpower challenge uses the excitement of motorsport to inspire young people to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and equips them with the type of skills they will need to develop a career in motorsport, for example as an engineer or team manager.
The Programme can be integrated into schools and colleges, normally as an extra-curricular activity but it can also be included as part of the science and technology curriculum. As well as schools and colleges, youth groups, engineering clubs and even private individuals can also participate.
The Greenpower Programme involves students building an electric race car from a kit and racing it at the end of the build process – cars can either race with others from the same educational institution or alternatively, different schools or colleges can compete against each other. Each car build takes approximately 12 weeks.
There are three versions of the Greenpower car kit, adapted for different age groups:
Once the kit has been assembled, schools design their own bodywork, which then brings in considerations of factors such as aerodynamics and use of sustainable materials. A kit can be used for more than one build.
Teams for Formula Goblin normally have between 6 to 20 pupils taking part; for F24 and F24+, the team size is usually around 12 students. In addition to building the car, team members can take on a number of other roles including business, finance, media or race wear design and production. During the race finals, several team members have a chance to drive the car.
More than 10,000 students take part in Greenpower each year, from primary school age through to university, The Programme is an exciting one for students, with its emphasis on motorsport and it can help develop a more diverse workforce in science and engineering for the future – 40% of participants in Greenpower are female.
Growing numbers of international teams are participating in Greenpower events.
Companies can be involved by sponsoring a team to purchase a kit and build a car ready to race at the end of the school year. Sponsors will benefit from branding opportunities such as on the car, race venue, team clothing, project website as well as media opportunities and tailored activations at the race final.