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Racing goes green as local schools take part in University’s 2009 Greenpower Challenge

Published: 
6 March 2009

Photo opportunity 9, 10, 12 and 13 March: Greenpower Challenge electric car racing at Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth.

Teams from local schools will be demonstrating their skills on the race track in the third University of Southampton Greenpower Challenge next week (9 – 13 March).

The six teams of 12 pupils from schools in Southampton, Eastleigh and New Milton will design, build and test a Greenpower Goblin racing car supervised by University of Southampton students. They will then compete against each other in time trials and a slalom race at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth. The top team from each school will go head-to-head in the final event to determine the overall winner.

The event takes place over four days between 9 and 13 March as part of the University of Southampton’s programme of activities for National Science and Engineering Week, with teams competing as follows:

  • Monday 9 March:
    St George Catholic Voluntary Aided College v Woodlands Community School
  • Tuesday 10 March:
    St Anne’s Catholic School v Crestwood College for Business and Enterprise
  • Thursday 12 March:
    The Arnewood School, New Milton v Upper Shirley High
  • Friday 13 March:
    The two top teams compete in the final 
This popular annual event aims to get Year 10 pupils thinking about engineering as a possible career by introducing them to the technical aspects of building a racing car. They will also explore the potential of ‘green’ energy.

The pupils are also involved in other activities as part of the Sustainable Energy Scheme, a new programme for Year 10. This includes an innovative science and engineering e-mentoring scheme coordinated by the University in partnership with The Brightside Trust and The Royal Academy of Engineering. The pupils have been matched with one of 18 Southampton engineering undergraduate mentors and communicate with them via a ‘blogging’ system on a secure e-mentoring website called Live Journals: www.livejournals.org.uk/.

Areas of support include current studies, progression to further and higher education and life at university.

The Live Journals’ website also offers pupils a comprehensive library of information on science and engineering careers, study skills and student life. A dedicated Greenpower Challenge section allows pupils to post questions to Greenpower expert Jeremy Way in the lead-up to the event.

Charlotte Everitt, Outreach and Partnership Officer at the University of Southampton, says: “Through the Southampton Schools’ Greenpower Challenge and e-mentoring scheme, we are offering pupils aged between 14 and 15 years of age a unique and exciting opportunity to find out more about engineering careers, explore their ambitions and gain a unique insight into life as a university student.”

The University is the official technical sponsor of Greenpower, the UK’s premier build and racing series for schoolchildren aged nine and over, which aims to promote engineering and technology to pupils aged 10 to 18 years.

The University’s National Science and Engineering Week activities launch with a Science and Engineering Day for families at the Highfield campus on Saturday 7 March. For more information about the University’s Science and Engineering Week events, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/schoolsandcolleges/activities/scienceweek.

For further information about Greenpower Electric car racing at the University visit www.SouthamptonF1.com.

Notes for editors

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities. 

With over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover of more than £370 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Web Science Research Initiative, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies and the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute.

For further information contact:
Sarah Watts or Glenn Harris, Communications, University of Southampton
023 8059 3807/3212; S.A.Watts@soton.ac.uk, G.Harris@soton.ac.uk

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