Limavady pupils shift into top gear with self-built eco car

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There is no fear of it breaking any speed limits, but for four youngsters of a Limavady school the thrill of having built their own electric car has certainly left them with a buzz.

The budding engineers from Termoncanice PS showed off their talents by building a single seat, electric racing car.

The Termoncanice Primary School Goblin Greenpower NIIE Electric Car team are pictured with their teacher Mrs Angela Hislop and Ria Forgie representing D A Forgie sponsors of the project. INLV2315-167KDR

The Termoncanice Primary School Goblin Greenpower NIIE Electric Car team are pictured with their teacher Mrs Angela Hislop and Ria Forgie representing D A Forgie sponsors of the project. INLV2315-167KDR

The project was part of an all-island engineering education initiative.

Through building and racing their eco-friendly cars, young people learn about the importance of engineering and associated STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, said teacher Angela Hislop.

She explained the car is propelled by an electric motor, and was completed with assistance from Stem Aware and Simon Green.

After making sure the car - known as ‘The Goblin’ - was track ready, the boys had the opportunity to take the car to Nutts Corner race circuit.

Boiler suits and helmets on, the P6 pupils, called the TC Legends Racing Team, put the battery-powered machine to the test in races against other green machines built by students from schools and colleges across Ireland.

The race was part of the all-island Ulster University 2015 Greenpower NI and IE Championships, which Ms Hislop said was a amazing opportunity for the boys.

“This project came to us through Greenpower and we got involved in conjunction with STEM Aware.

“The project is aimed at looking at renewable energy. The car itself is an electric car, and the boys built it from scratch and then took it to race,” said Ms Hislop.

The Termoncanice teacher said the Championships are held to allow pupils to competitively assess their efforts at running their racing team.

“The car also involved marketing the car and having a business plan so, it really gave them a sense of learning for life and a real life experience for the boys.

“It has been a super experience for the boys - at a young age, to build a real car that actually goes - and they had great enthusiasm throughout the whole process.”

The car will take a rest over the summer, but the boys will get into their boiler suits again and race the car in September at Derry’s Guildhall, and they can’t wait.

Oran, aged 10, said being involved in the project was great fun.

“You can’t ride it on the road, but it’s good for the track. It’s battery-powered and it’s class to drive,” said Oran.

James (10) also helped to build the car, and said: “I enjoyed push starting it the most. That was good.”

Cain, who was also part of the team, said it was a fun experience.

“It’s not really for the road,” said Cain.

“It’s more for the track. It’s slower than a real car, but it’s easy to drive

“I really enjoyed it, and the best part was driving it.”

Sam said he was proud to be part of the team, and he enjoyed driving the car, which he described as “amazing”.

Watch footage of the boys in action in the electric car at school online at derryjournal.com