Girl power makes green power

ECO-racers from Ipswich High School showed real girl power when their battery-powered kit car took first prize in a green motoring competition.The all-girl team of 12 to 16 year-olds built, designed and drove their own car at the Greenpower race event and took the top prize for the best presented team and vehicle.

ECO-racers from Ipswich High School showed real girl power when their battery-powered kit car took first prize in a green motoring competition.

The all-girl team of 12 to 16 year-olds built, designed and drove their own car at the Greenpower race event and took the top prize for the best presented team and vehicle.

It was their first year of competing and the team, called the Hammerheads, caused quite a stir among their male counterparts with their driving skills.

Katie Poulton, 14 said: “When we overtook a boy, we got some funny looks.


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“We were really nervous beforehand but it was really fun.

“In design technology (DT) we would normally make a CD rack, but this gave us chance to build and drive a car. It was a great experience and something completely new.”

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The annual event, which took place at the Bedford Autodrome, is organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and enables youngsters to pit their eco-cars against others from 35 schools across the region.

Each team is provided with a prototype kit car - something akin to an IKEA flat pack piece of furniture - which the girls built and designed for the Formula 24 category.

The team were also praised for creating an innovative solution to prevent the motor overheating by using a wine box bag to drip water over a sponge which covered the engine.

The aim of the race was not just to be the fastest round the track, but also to last the distance.

At the end of four hours of team racing, the girls came an impressive 19th after an exhilarating 62 miles.

Steve Cilvert, head of DT and team leader, said: “For our first year it was a fantastic result. We used some really complex techniques to build the car.

“The girls have learned so much and are really inspired to upgrade the prototype to make it even more competitive next year.

“We would like to give particular thanks to Babergh District Council who made donations towards the girls' entry, and to Cropco Agricycle for their sponsorship.”

Have you built something to win a prize? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Established in 1847, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has a world-wide membership of 75,000 engineers.

Greenpower has been running the Formula 24 series for secondary schools since 1999. Each entrant is issued with a standard 24-volt electric wheelchair motor and four 12v car batteries - two on the car and two in the pit lane.

Now in its tenth year, Greenpower events aim to promote engineering and technology to pupils throughout their school life.

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