On your marks, Get set, Go! - Norfolk schoolchildren racing at Scottow Enterprise Park in the county’s first Formula One-style engineering event
PUBLISHED: 14:31 07 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:32 07 June 2017
It was a case of on your marks, get set go, as a former RAF site was transformed into a children’s racetrack for the day.
The old RAF Coltishall site, now called Scottow Enterprise Park, has seen some spectacular events in the past, and you can now add this to the roster.
Youngsters from 17 Norfolk primary schools raced in 25 cars in the county’s first ever Formula One-style engineering event on Wednesday, June 7.
Up to 200 10 and 11-year-olds drove the single-seat electric cars they built at school with the budding engineers and Lewis Hamiltons competing in slaloms, drag and sprint races.
Matt Buck, a teacher at Town Close School in Norwich, said: “The school has been taking part in this for about four years.
“But in the past we had to travel outside the area. We were fed up driving so far so we persuaded the organisers to hold an event in Norfolk.
“The appetite for it has been brilliant. I’ve been thrilled by the enthusiasm at the school.
“The children have got hands-on experience of engines in the classroom. The response, when we said to them that they would build a car, and then drive it in a race, was amazing. They also learned how to work as a team, problem solving, leadership skills, and building up their confidence. It’s been a real hit.”
Two youngsters at Town Close were particularly excited about the event.
Lizzy Davies, 11, said: “It was so much fun and I would love to do it again. We were really looking forward to it and enjoyed building the cars.”
And Katy Burton, also 11, said: “I like the racing and the chance to race a car.”
Greenpower Education Trust ran the project to spark children’s interest in STEM subjects (science, tech, engineering and maths).
The trust’s chief executive Jeremy Way said: “The project has seen the most rapid growth in Norfolk of anywhere in the UK.”
The project was backed by Norfolk County Council, whose STEM team worked tirelessly to bring it off.
Bernice Dixie, STEM co-ordinator, said: “The project is a really innovative way to get children to develop their science and technology skills. Norfolk has an impressive history when it comes to automotive engineering and we want to inspire more of our young people to pursue a career in the sector.”