Dan Callon, along with his Selby College team-mates, built the electric car provided by Drax Group as part of its £35,000 initiative to boost STEM (science technology engineering and Maths) skills at seven schools in the town.
The Selby College team, which gave up precious time during the Easter holidays to fine tune their car and test it, left other competitors from across the country trailing in their dust to take pole position in the Greenpower street race event in Hull yesterday (Sunday).
It rounded off a period of positive news for Dan, who also recently found out that he would be one of the next intake of engineering apprentices at Drax Power Station, based near Selby, later this year after successfully applying for the training role.
The six other schools from the Selby area, provided with kit cars and the tools to build them by Drax, also competed in the races in the centre of Hull, watched by hundreds of locals who lined the specially-coned off race track.
Car designs included a bear, a cannon and a tribute to the Humber while another recycled the packaging the car was delivered in to make its bodywork.
The pupils and students took part in a range of colourful events from drag races to a 60-minute endurance event on a special street circuit in the centre of Hull.
But top marks went to the Selby College team, which came home first in an hour-long race against 13 other teams – crossing the finish line six minutes ahead of their nearest rival to the delight of Dan and team-mates Sam Bygrave, Liam Dunn and Lauren Askin.
Dan, 17, from Selby, said:
“It’s been a great experience building the car with the rest of the team and then driving it was amazing. I can’t believe we won – it was the perfect ending.
“I’ve learnt so much while we’ve been building the car and now, I can’t wait to move on to the next stage of my career with my apprenticeship at Drax. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said:
“We are thrilled one of our teams won in Hull at the weekend. Our congratulations go to Dan, Sam, Liam and Lauren – they have done a marvellous job – and I look forward to hopefully seeing Dan at the power station later this year.
“The commitment from all of the schools has been exceptional – it’s really sparked the students’ imaginations, which is what this project is all about.
“Finding fun and exciting projects like this to engage young people and encourage them to study STEM subjects is the key to ensuring the next generation of potential employees has the skills that innovative businesses like ours need.”
“Too many children in the North are falling behind their counterparts in other areas of the UK when it comes to education and skills, leading to a serious skills shortage for employers. We want to change that with initiatives like this one.”
Liz Ridley, Deputy Principal at Selby College, said:
“We are absolutely delighted – winning the race is a fantastic reward for all of the hard work that the students and dedicated tutors have put into this project.
“The best part about it is that it doesn’t stop here – more of our students will benefit from this initiative, because we can dismantle the car and get new students to re-build it each year. We are extremely grateful to Drax for all of their support.
“Our whole aim as a college is to give students the experience and skills they need for their future careers and it’s brilliant that Dan has this opportunity with Drax. We wish him all the best, as we do all our students.”
Stacey Cannon, a teacher at Selby Abbey Primary, whose pupils named their car The Cannon in her honour, said:
“I’m really proud of them all and the effort they have put in to this and I’m proud to see the car out there with my name on it.
“I think they have grown so much throughout this project especially in relation to the STEM subjects. It will hopefully open their minds to the world of engineering.”
Four primary schools – Barwic Parade, Camblesforth, Selby Community and Selby Abbey – received a 15mph Goblin G2 battery-powered car, which students and teachers then assembled.
- Older students from Selby High School, Holy Family Catholic High School and Selby College built the more powerful Formula 24 car, which can reach speeds of up to 30mph.
- Both cars took around 15 hours to build, with the teams also designing their own bodywork.
- The primary school teams took part in a series of drag and slalom races in their Goblin cars. The top drivers from each team then raced against each other in a final 1km circuit through the city centre.
- Students from the secondary schools and colleges raced the F24 cars around the same circuit in an endurance test. The teams had to switch between three drivers and maintain their cars during the race and the winner was the team which completed the most laps in 90 minutes.
Main photo: Dan Callon and the Selby College car on track. Download
Drax Group’s ambition is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,600-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted two thirds of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan. It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.
Drax owns two B2B energy supply businesses:
- Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity and energy services to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.
- Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity, energy services and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.
Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.
For more information visit www.drax.com/uk
- The Greenpower Education Trust was founded in 1999 to inspire young people into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through the unique challenge of designing, building and racing an electric street car.
- The event in Hull on April 28 is hosted by Greenpower and Green Port Hull, which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund, and will feature three race categories contested on a 1km track:
- Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Formula Goblin for nine to 11-year-olds tackling drag and slalom challenges;
- IET Formula 24 for 11 to 16-year-olds taking part in two 90-minute endurance races;
- IET Formula 24+ is a one-hour race for 16 to 25-year-olds.