Young Engineers in car race for success

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THE future looks bright for Peterhead Academy’s budding engineers.

The 20-strong Young Engineers Club have been working almost non-stop since October to build an electric car, which they hope will zoom its way to victory in the Shell Green Power Challenge this summer.

June’s competition at Alford race track will test the team’s engineering skills to the max as the team of drivers, dubbed The Blue Toon Bullets, go head-to-head with teenage teams from around Scotland.

“There will be six different drivers and a number of pit teams,” says Banff and Buchan College lecturer Gareth Davies, who supervises the group. “Each driver will practice driving the car in the lead up to the competition. They have four batteries and will use two in the car at a time to do as many laps of the circuit as possible before they burn out or overheat.”

Thanks to a donation from engineering firm Score and fundraising, the club has been able to supply the kit and materials to build the F24 electric car. The group’s younger pupils are encouraged to use problem solving and organisational skills to find the most effective way of piecing it all together.

“This is something the young people are really enjoying doing,” says technical teacher Martin Kennett.

“We had such an huge response from pupils wanting to join the club this year. We ran auditions of sorts and asked all the pupils to give a presentation on why they are really interested in engineering and should be chosen for the club.”

The initial group of 42 applicants was narrowed down to just 20 and Gareth hopes the club will give the students the foundation they need to go on to study engineering at Banff and Buchan College.

“Pupils who have been involved with Young Engineers definitely seem to have an advantage when they go on to college,” says Gareth. “And in the North East a high percentage of young people want to go into this type of physical and hands on work.”

In past years, the Young Engineers have taken part in various projects aiming to test and further their thinking and problem solving skills including building an ROV and robot wars car, but the car is by far the biggest project to date.

“It’s been trial and error,” says S3 pupil Steven Melville. “It took about four weeks to get the steering and the back axle took about six weeks.”

Peterhead Academy Young Engineers Club is still looking for sponsors. If you think you or your business can help, contact The Buchanie for further details.