Greenpower Education Trust is a UK charity which aims to use the excitement of motor sport to enthuse young people about science and engineering by challenging them to design, build and race a single seat electric car. It does this by supplying age-appropriate kit cars which can be built in school and raced at Greenpower organised events at motorsport venues around the UK.
This year a grant to Greenpower from the Dudgeon Community Fund is enabling teams from seven secondary schools in the Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland regions of Norfolk to take part in the 2019 Greenpower IET F24 championship.
The schools participating with the support of the Dudgeon Community Fund grant are Caister Academy, Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Dereham Neatherd High School, Litcham School, Lynn Grove Academy, Northgate High School and Wayland Academy.
Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm has committed to a yearly investment of £100,000 to its Community Fund for the lifetime of the wind farm. The Community Fund's STEM Programme targets projects which will inspire pupils to go on and study the STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects in either Sixth Form or Technical College. The objective is to inspire students to consider a future with STEM at the core - either through employment or further education.
There is also another Norfolk element to this year's IET F24 championship, with the iconic sports car and racing car manufacturer Lotus Cars agreeing to host the inaugural F24 kit car Norfolk championship heat at its historic Hethel test track on 8 June 2019.
Matt Buck, who teaches at Town Close School in Norwich, is the Greenpower Norfolk Ambassador. He said:
"The grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund has stimulated a surge of interest and take-up in F24 racing at schools across Norfolk, so the support from Lotus Cars to enable a championship heat to be staged here in Norfolk couldn't be more appropriate."
"The F24 electric kit car project involves students in a wide range of activities including body design, car assembly, battery performance analysis, competition statistics and team logistics and administration. As each school has to obtain a local business partner to either provide financial support or assist with the construction of the car, students also gain valuable exposure to external organisations during the project.
"Typically between 15/20 students in each school are involved in the F24 project, with the race-day team often numbering 11 students, 3 of whom will drive during the race".
Sonja Chirico Indrebø, the Power Plant Manager at the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, said:
"Greenpower Education Trust works with over 700 teams in the UK, holding 35 regional events between March and October each year. By supporting teams from 7 schools in Norfolk, the Dudgeon Community Fund is helping to provide a practical and exciting insight into electric automotive design and engineering for some 120 students".
She added: "I am sure there will be considerable interest from a number of us here at the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm O&M base in Great Yarmouth in supporting the championship heat at the Lotus Cars test track in June."