Look out Lewis Hamilton and watch your back Sebastian Vettel because Derry primary school children are hot on your heels.
School children from all over the North West attended a special training day at St. Cecilia’s College in Derry yesterday. The training was in preparation for the Greenpower Goblin Project and sees nine schools from parts of Derry, Limavady and Coleraine design and build their own electronically powered Goblin go-karts.
All of the karts will compete in the IET Formula Goblin Championships at Nutts Corner in May and at the Formula DerrE Championships in Ebrington Square in September.
The Greenpower Goblin Project is part of the 2015/16 Science and Innovation Programme and is funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) and the Department for Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL).
“I want to be an engineer when I get older - designing cars and building things is exactly the kind of thing I want to do,” said 10 year-old Aidan Nash from St. Paul’s P.S. in Galliagh.
“This is the first day of the project but we are learning so much - I didn’t think it would be possible for us to build a car but we are starting to see it come together already,” said Aidan’s 10 year-old classmate, Tiernan McFadden.
Elsa Edwards is Legacy Project Officer for DCSDC and she said it was exciting to see so many children enthusiastic about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.
“Council’s theme for 2015/16 is about encouraging young people to become more engaged with science and innovation,” said Elsa.
“Employers are calling out for students with qualifications in the STEM subjects and what better way to get the young people of the North West engaged with these subjects than by something as practical as building and designing their own racing car?.”
Pupils from St. Cecilia’s College who have designed and built a car to be raced in the Formula 24 later this year helped many of the young children to get started.
“I am delighted to see so many young children in our school today and I am so proud of our girls for mentoring the young children,” said St. Cecilia’s College principal, Martine Mulhern.
“It’s a fantastic event and one I am delighted our school was able to be part of. I also think it’s important young children are introduced to STEM projects through events such as this - they make learning fun,” she added.
The Greenpower Goblin Project is being facilitated by local organisation STEM Aware.
Creative Director of STEM Aware described yesterday’s event as the first of many to come.
“I read an article recently about how many of the world’s leading economists believe the future of many economies to be in the STEM subjects - this should be no different for Derry and the North West.
“There are employers out there crying out for people with STEM subject qualifications and if we get our children interested in it now then there is no telling what the future might hold,” she added.
For more information on DCSDC’s Science and Innovation Programme log on to www.scinnovate.co