STUDENTS from a town school have experienced life in the fast lane after taking part in an innovative project to make their own electric racing car.
St Hild’s Church of England School has been shortlisted in the Best in School Award category at the 2014 PoSBO (Positive Social Behaviour Order Awards) which aim to celebrate and recognise the hard work of young people across the North-East.
A delegation form the King Oswy Drive school will be at the Baltic, in Gateshead, tomorrow night to see if their hard work has been enough to land them the award.
The awards are hosted annually by Truth about Youth – North East, The Co-operative Foundation’s five-year project that is being run in partnership with Youth Focus: North East.
A group of around 20 students from Year 8 upwards at St Hild’s have been giving up their own time between and after classes to work on the electric car – known as the Mean Green Electric Machine – with support from teacher Ian Hall, the school’s subject leader for engineering technology.
Mr Hall said: “The car came as a kit in numerous boxes without any instructions.
“Part of the challenge was for students to work out how the pieces fitted together.
“We have had a nice mix of students involved in the project – both boys and girls – and they have all worked together really well.”
In its first race at Croft Circuit near Darlington last year, the Mean Green Electric Machine which is capable of travelling at 30mph, finished 11th out of 38 despite facing stiff competition from a number of better-resourced teams, including several “supercars”.
It took to the track again at Croft earlier this year and finished sixth overall, while also winning its own Kit Built Cars category.
Mr Hall added: “When the students go racing they meet other teams from around the country and it makes me proud to see how they more than hold their own.
“They have been tremendous ambassadors for St Hild’s and Hartlepool as a whole.”
The car’s rear axle is currently being rebuilt following a crash in the last race, and the next phase of its development will be to modify its design to make it more aerodynamic.
The students are actively fundraising to raise money for the project and Mr Hall thanked the project’s existing sponsors – Sabic, the Sir James Knott trust and the Hadrian Trust – for their continued support.
He added that any other financial backing would be gratefully received.
He can be contacted by potential sponsors on firstname.lastname@example.org