Pupils rise to the engineer challenge

Primary school pupils were given a battery race car kit prepared by Eyemouth  High School's Greenpower Racing team.
Primary school pupils were given a battery race car kit prepared by Eyemouth High School's Greenpower Racing team.

Young engineers of the future from five Berwickshire primary schools attended an engineering challenge set to make them think about skills they may need in their careers.

Eyemouth High School’s technical department, in partnership with Borders College and Ahlstrom-Munksjö hosted 75 primary pupils at the event where they took part in a number of challenges and learned about the high school’s two Greenpower racing cars, designed and built in conjunction with Borders College.

Each pupil was given a battery race car kit to take away and build with instructions and an informational video prepared by members of the high school’s Greenpower racing team. Judges will visit each school in April to see the cars and watch them being raced.

All of the kits were donated by Ahlstrom-Munksjö in Chirnside.

Michael Jones from Ahlstrom-Munksjö explained that the company is keen to raise the profile of skills essential for engineers.

“We saw a gap in the skill set for engineering and wanted to link with schools and encourage pupils to take up engineering,” said Mr Jones.

“For us, this type of challenge allows pupils to see what skills they will need for the future. It is clear that challenges like this promote not only engineering but also maths, physics, and communication skills that can all be linked to the profession.”

Eyemouth High School is the first Borders high school with two Greenpower race cars. The project is the brainchild of Paul Watson, the school’s technician and has seen the youngsters involved develop both their confidence and critical thinking skills.

“We started out with a kit car but through the hard work of the kids and thanks to all of our sponsors, we now have a team that has designed, built, marketed and raced a car while learning about the importance of Greenpower,” said Mr Watson.

“We are proud of what we have achieved and extremely grateful to everyone who has sponsored us or helped us see this vision come to life.”

The team has had success on the race track and hope to inspire the next generation of racers through challenges like this. They plan to take their car to East Fortune in the spring to race against other Greenpowered cars.