Culture

KCOM Stadium flashback: Racing to victory with Project Blyth

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Last July, more than 2,000 people from across the Humber region saw 66 electric kit cars race around the KCOM Stadium as part of an innovative and exciting education initiative named Project Blyth, which ran in conjunction with Hull City of Culture 2017.

Last July, more than 2,000 people from across the Humber region saw 66 electric kit cars race around the KCOM Stadium as part of an innovative and exciting education initiative named Project Blyth, which ran in conjunction with Hull City of Culture 2017.

The local challenge was named after James Blyth, a famous wind power pioneer, to reflect the Humber’s growing status as the heart of the UK’s offshore wind industry. Each school team that took part was linked with an employer from the Humber region for the duration of the project, which assisted in providing inspiration and support for the students through workplace visits, mentoring of the design and build of their car, and work experience placements.

All of the electric cars that took part in the race had been built from scratch by the 33 teams of young people involved in the project. Races were held periodically throughout the day, and split into several age groups: IET Formula Goblin for primary school children aged 9-11, IET Formula 24 for 11-16s, and IET Formula 24+ for young adults aged 16-25.

The winners of the day were Healing Primary School (IET Formula Goblin), Healing School and South Holderness Technology College (IET Formula 24) and Hymers College (IET Formula 24+). The lucky teams went on to enter the national finals, which were held at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.

“Absolutely brilliant project for my daughters to be involved in,” commented one pleased mum on the event’s Facebook page. “Such a well-organised project. The event at KCOM Stadium was amazing fun for everyone involved. Hope that this continues for years to come! Well done everyone who took part over the last year or so, what a fantastic turnout.”

The project was primarily organised by Greenpower Education Trust, a charity that focuses on inspiring young people to think about engineering as a career. It was also awarded funding from Green Port Hull, which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund, to enable more than 600 young people in the Humber region to take part. The project was further supported by several major employers within the region, including Siemens and the University of Hull, with 60 local firms also committed to supporting young teams.

Greenpower was confident that the unique, hands-on project would be enough to capture the excitement of motorsport in order to inspire young people from primary school through to university to excel in STEM subjects, thus helping to address the serious skills shortage of engineers currently faced by UK industry.

Glenn Jensen, Curriculum Leader at East Riding College, who was responsible for heading up the teams at the event, said: “The event was incredibly well-attended and it was great to see so many teams with unique cars. The STEM Fair was really busy and provided a good opportunity to network with other education establishments and meet companies working in engineering. The race day was a brilliant end to a year of hard work for our students – we are looking forward to next year.”

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