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Making something more than the sum of its parts is what engineering is all about. Cummins Generator Technologies (CGT), in partnership with the Greenpower Education Trust, turned that principle into a fun and challenging project for local schools in Peterborough, UK, that uses go-karts to inspire the next generation.

Through the CGT Greenpower 2018 project, Cummins apprentices and employees worked with young students to design, build and race an electric car. The challenge used motorsports to encourage young people to develop in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Earlier this year, CGT employees delivered seven targeted workshops in two local schools to help children learn about the diverse field of engineering.

The two schools; Stamford Junior School and Malcolm Sargent Primary School, were then invited to a special race event to test their cars.

Gary Dawson, Team Coordinator on the project, said, “The project provides local primary school children with resources to support an engineering team-based initiative. We were able to share our collective knowledge and experience of engineering and project management to help the children learn and develop. This project was a great success – so many excited, smiling and enthusiastic school children who grew in confidence.”

The teams were given special awards for their achievements, including prizes for the time trial champion, best designed car and the team spirit award. The feedback from the schools about the Greenpower project was full of praise.

Paula Stenson, a teacher at Malcolm Sargent Primary School, said, “The organisation of the project on a weekly basis has been fabulous and has enabled every child to experience building the kart and what it takes to be an engineer.”

Helen Britton, head of year 5 at Stamford Primary School, added, “The children involved in the project got so much out of being with the staff and apprentices. What you don’t see is how the rest of the children in the school are inspired.”

In designing and building the electric kit cars, the children were able to apply several key engineering skills to prepare them for a potential future in the industry.

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