Drax encourages interest in STEM careers with electric car race


Pupils and college students from Selby could move into pole position when it comes to boosting their skills by taking part in a city centre electric car race – thanks to a new initiative from the UK’s biggest power station.

Teams from six schools and a college from Selby will build and race their own electric cars as part of Drax Group’s initiative to encourage young people to study STEM subjects, helping create the skilled workforce businesses need for the region’s economy to thrive.

Drax is investing £35,000 to support the schools and college near its North Yorkshire power station, including providing them with the car kits, as well as the tools and equipment needed to build them.

Engineers from the power station will also spend time with each of the seven teams to help assemble the cars and learn how to drive them ahead of a city centre race in Hull, on April 28, organised by the Greenpower Education Trust and sponsored by Drax.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said: “Inspiring young people to study STEM subjects is the key to ensuring the next generation of potential employees has the skills that businesses like ours need. A skilled workforce will enable Drax and other businesses in the North to continue to grow, building a strong regional economy with thriving communities.

“We’re really excited about working with the schools on their electric vehicles. Seeing all the students from Selby with their cars on the starting grid in Hull is going to be a really proud moment for us – and who knows, maybe one or two of them will see the chequered flag.”

Four primary schools – Barwic Parade, Camblesforth, Selby Community and Selby Abbey – receive a 15mph Goblin G2 battery-powered car, which will arrive in flat-pack form ready to be assembled by the students and teachers.

Older students from Selby High School, Holy Family Catholic High School and Selby College will build the more powerful Formula 24 car, which can reach speeds of up to 30mph.

Both types of car take around 15 hours to build, with the teams also being required to design their own bodywork.

They will all have assistance from Drax employees, who will help the students to learn about battery power, engine gearing and how a car works.