- To change current views about engineering, presenting it as a fascinating, relevant and dynamic career choice for any young person.
- To demonstrate the importance of engineering, and associated STEM subjects, to solve the problems faced by societies today particularly in the areas of sustainability.
- To link education, industry and community through inspirational engineering projects.
- To promote social inclusion through engaging with vulnerable and economically disadvantaged young people.
Greenpower is a national competition in which schools, colleges, universities and businesses design, build and compete in electric racing cars. One 24 v Fracmo DC electric motor and two 12 v Yuasa batteries provides the power and is standard for all race entries. The challenge is for individual teams to design all other features - chassis, wheels, steering, electronic management, braking, bodywork, telemetry etc. to ensure their car is the fastest. Races take place at circuits all over the country at legendary venues such as Goodwood and Castle Combe. The regulations are as strict as those in Formula 1 and safety is paramount.
Competing at Greenpower events is a logistically complex and expensive undertaking. A huge investment of time, effort and money goes into the design and build of a Greenpower car. Once built, cars must be tested and retested and finally made race ready. Once registered to race, team members must be clad and helmeted and Greenpower cars must be transported to events all over the country along with tools, spares, drivers, pit-crew, design portfolio, chairs, gazebos, insulated battery boxes, umbrellas, cameras, registration paperwork and refreshments. On arrival, there is a frantic jostling for position in the queue to pass inspection and be declared fit to put in a few practice laps before the real racing has even started…
The Greenpower F24 competition is open to students aged 11-16, although The Bourne Academy’s current team consists almost entirely of Year 7 members. Students attend the Greenpower ACE club on Tuesdays and Thursdays and all work on the car is carried out by them.
The F24 team knows their vehicle inside out... and they need to - on race days no adults are permitted to assist in the pit lane should things go wrong – the F24 crew must all be experts! All cars are rigorously scrutinized before they are allowed to compete in the 90 minute races and team members are questioned beforehand to examine their engineering credentials.
The Bourne Academy F24 team is currently trialling its new 2018 car the “Bourne Bobcat” – a heavily modified version of the 2014 “Bourne Beacon”. It features an improved super-light chassis, direct chain drive and a brand new wiring loom featuring performance enhancing twin 12 volt cooling fans to ensure the motor runs as efficiently as possible.
Also new for this season are an improved wheel / axle configuration, an ergonomically superior steering set-up, and a newly designed roll-cage. Branding is an essential way of promoting the school’s success and drivers will be strapped into a TRS rally-style 5-point harness and wear brand new driving gloves, race helmets and overalls – all in Bourne Academy pink; courtesy of the team’s new sponsor Kingren Groundworks.
The Bobcat has been successfully tested in the grounds of The Canford School and put in a truly encouraging performance at the Goodwood F24 Heat in June. Recent modifications have seen the addition of new front wheels and disc brakes and a full set of narrow gauge race tyres. Adjustments to gearing ratios will hopefully tame the Bobcat’s ferocious speed and buy it more stamina. The team is excited to prove the Bobcat can be a properly competitive and reliable electric racing car and aim to put The Bourne Academy on the Greenpower map by qualifying for and competing in October’s National Finals at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Watch this space!