Pupils on the road to building eco-car

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St Margaret's Academy pupils working on their eco-car. Pic © St Margaret’s Academy

St Margaret’s Academy pupils working on their eco-car. Pic © St Margaret’s Academy

Students from an Aigburth secondary school are building an eco-car from scratch to enter into the National Greenpower Car Competition this year.

Pupils, with the support of their teachers at St. Margaret’s Church of England Academy, have committed to the extra-curricular project. They hope to have the car ready to race in the Aintree Greenpower heat in September.

The school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Club has spent much of the academic year fundraising in order to build the eco-friendly car, which costs £2,790. The students also donated some of the money raised to the British Heart Foundation.

Suzannah Lalgee, St. Margaret’s Academy’s STEM Coordinator, told JMU Journalism how the project came about: “I received an invite in the post about attending a heat in Sept 2014, so a colleague and I went along.

“A lot of the boys in the club have a passion for engineering so this seemed like it would be a good idea. We explained the event to the STEM club and they were so keen to get on board.”

St. Margaret’s Academy also has a group of year 9 pupils working on the Goblin car, a smaller version of the Greenpower Car. The school wants to repeat the projects every year, believing it will strengthen the students’ future employability.

They also hope to use both cars to showcase the school’s work and promote the importance of looking after the environment.

Mrs Lalgee added: “The pupils are gaining hands-on experience of engineering, which they wouldn’t already have. They’re designing their own body kit, which they will be able to discuss at any job or university interviews.

“The idea is each year, the next pupils will be able to build their own car from scratch to try and make it lighter and faster. We will use it as a marketing tool. We hope to take the Goblin car around primary schools and then on open days the Greenpower car will be on display and, weather permitting, out on the yard.

Should they win the Aintree heat in September, St Margaret’s Academy will gain a place in Northamptonshire’s Rockingham Motor Speedway in October.

About Sam Davies, JMU Journalism