In a groundbreaking initiative, Bradford College has partnered with the Greenpower Education Trust to introduce the Formula 24 Challenge in West Yorkshire, providing local pupils aged 11-16 with the opportunity to construct and race their electric kit cars.

Nine secondary schools in Bradford, including Oastlers Keighley, Tong Academy, Parkside School, and BBG Academy, have received single-seater kit cars to kickstart the project. Students will collaborate to assemble the Greenpower kit cars, incorporating their designs for the bodywork while emphasizing the use of eco-friendly materials.

The project also includes expert technical coaching and masterclasses from professionals such as the Bradford College Motor Vehicle team. Once completed, the goal is for the students to compete in a Formula 24 Grand Prix hosted in Bradford city centre.

Sarah Towan, Vice Principal for Recruitment & Communications at Bradford College, said; “As a leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) training in the city, Bradford College is very excited to support the Greenpower Formula 24 Challenge. This is an exhilarating project for local students, giving them the opportunity to explore design principles and improve planning, creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

“It’s vital that we engage more young people in STEM subjects to help address future skills gaps and improve diversity across critical industries in the UK. Unique projects like this help to put theory into practice and showcase varied careers at a time when young people are beginning to think about their future.”

Oastlers School Head of Centre Robert Fairbairn added; “We found out about the opportunity to build and race an electric car through conversations with colleagues at Bradford College. We see this as a great opportunity to motivate our young people to participate, opening their eyes to the possibilities across a range of subjects in school. Building and racing the car will show them learning can be fun and, at the same time, inspiring. It will also open up exciting conversations with local employers, and our aim is to encourage them to take an active part in the design and building of our car.”

The Formula 24 season runs from April to October, with regional race heats taking place all over the country until the end of September. Around 30 events take place across the UK every year. An International Final is then held in October for teams that qualify from across the globe.

Vaughan Curnow, Community and Education Development Manager at Greenpower Education Trust, said; “Greenpower is all about engineering and social inclusion, so Bradford is an excellent fit for this aspirational initiative. We want to showcase STEM jobs and careers to a diverse range of students who may not otherwise get a hands-on opportunity like this.

“The Formula 24 Challenge builds confidence and self-esteem, as well as teaching transferrable skills in marketing, fundraising, design and more. Thanks goes to Bradford College for being so supportive in the rollout of the project. Together, we hope to get even more schools, employers, and sponsors involved to enhance the project further.”