Cwmlai Primary School races to victory with Greenpower

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One of our schools, Cwmlai Primary, recently took part in the innovative Greenpower Education Trust’s Formula Goblin Race Car project – an exciting scheme to improve learning in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. Cwmlai’s year 6 class designed and built their own electric kit car using practical engineering skills, basic tools and electrical systems, before racing it against 14 other schools from across Wales and England. New Directions Education was a proud sponsor of this exciting project, fuelling innovation, ambition and creativity in children and young people in our community and supporting the next generation of engineers and scientists.

What is the Greenpower Education Trust?

The Greenpower Education Trust is a charity that challenges young people (from primary school to university age) to get involved in STEM subjects through fun, inspirational and interactive competitions. Greenpower offers children the opportunity to design, build and race their own age-appropriate Goblin Kit Cars at an organised motorsport event. More than 10,000 students participate in Greenpower projects each year and Cwmlai Primary School grasped the opportunity with both hands. The scheme offered their pupils the chance to be creative and innovative while learning valuable skills that will equip them for life. The Greenpower project is more significant than ever this year, with the new curriculum putting greater emphasis on the importance of STEM subjects to encourage essential skills for a prosperous and sustainable future generation.

Cwmlai Primary School Greenpower car project
Shreksta (left) and Lightening Mcgreen (right)

Mr Curnell, the year 6 teacher from Cwmlai Primary School, highlighted that in light of the new curriculum, the school felt that this was “an extremely engaging project that ticks so many boxes in the new curriculum. It is an excellent example of how child-led learning has inspired pupils to become the next generation of engineers and scientists – all we need to do now is race and hope for a podium finish”. 

What are the benefits of the Greenpower race car project?

In addition to the obvious STEM subject benefits of taking part in an ambitious Greenpower project, the children from Cwmlai Primary School were also responsible for raising the funds required for the project themselves. This was an important lesson for the children. They spent time organising sponsored activities at school; applying for grant funding; balancing spreadsheets to keep track of their fundraising efforts; and writing letters to local companies to inform them about their race car project and the potential sponsorship opportunity available.

One of these letters, written by year 6 pupil Lexie Bassett, landed on the desk of Howard Burge, National Director of New Directions Education, who was thrilled to see such innovation and creativity coming from young people in the local community. Howard was impressed with the eloquently written letter which perfectly outlined the project, and he agreed for New Directions Education to donate some sponsorship money towards Cwmlai’s race car efforts. As part of our community initiative, we wanted to support this valuable STEM project to help the pupils of Cwmlai Primary School to gain real-life working skills.

Introducing Shreksta and Lightening Mcgreen

Over the past few weeks, the year 6 class at Cwmlai Primary School have been working hard on designing, building and perfecting their race cars – ‘Lightening Mcgreen’ and ‘Shreksta’. We were extremely impressed with the incredible cars they built in preparation for the highly anticipated race day at the Renishaw Factory in Miskin Business Park.

Race day

On Saturday 22 June, the children from Cwmlai Primary proudly competed against 14 other schools in three exciting challenges; the Slalom, Drag Race and Sprint Race. Race day was a huge success for Cwmlai Primary School, who came away with an impressive total of 9 trophy wins! The year 6 class finished the day as overall winners, with their race car ‘Lightening Mcgreen’ taking the podium spot and beating 14 other schools to victory.

Well done to all the children involved in this fantastic project! New Directions Education wishes to congratulate Cwmlai Primary School on their race day success and their engagement with this inspirational STEM project.

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