Schools in the UAE will challenge students to design, build and race electric cars as part of their studies, and open a route for them towards careers in motorsport and electric vehicle engineering.
More than 10,000 students each year in Europe, the US and Asia take part in the Greenpower programme, which uses the thrill of motorsport to help them excel in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Participating schools will form teams to design and build electric kit cars
This practical learning initiative empowers young people, from primary school age through to university, to develop the skills needed to build motorsport careers, work as engineers, as well as team management or other key roles.
Pole Position, the Dubai-based automotive events and motorsports consultancy in connection with Greenpower Education Trust have instigated this challenge in the UAE, starting with 41 GEMS Education schools.
“With 40% of participants in Greenpower being female, we want to work towards developing a more diverse workforce in science and engineering for the future”
Participating schools will form teams to design and build electric kit cars supplied by the Trust, a UK-based charity which has been running the programme for over 20 years.
Teams consisting of three drivers and a support crew will ultimately race the electric cars at Dubai Autodrome in the Formula 24 category for 11-16-year-olds.
“We’re delighted to be working with GEMS Education who have committed to engage 41 of their schools in the Greenpower programme,” said Pole Position Founder and CEO, Ryan Trutch.
“Together, we’re confident that the Greenpower programme will generate a huge appetite for future motorsports activities amongst students, and gain support from teachers to continue motorsport-related activities.
“We’re in discussion with GEMS Education to finalise the programme before launching later in the year with the backing of corporate sponsorship as part of companies’ CSR and ESG activities.
“We intend opening up more opportunities for young people to take up careers in engineering and other scientific areas, and allow them to make a greater contribution to society. With 40% of participants in Greenpower being female, we want to work towards developing a more diverse workforce in science and engineering for the future.”
Starting in September, Greenpower will introduce students to basic mechanics and electrics to allow them to build electric kit cars to take part in Formula 24 racing.
To date, more than 2,500 teams have competed in the Greenpower programme, which was featured in a report by the Hamilton Commission – set up by seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton – as a project which helps improve diversity in motorsport.
Matthew Tompkins, Director of Student Employability for GEMS Education, says: “We are excited to be involved in this project as we continue to promote sustainability among all students at GEMS Education. This initiative complements the work our schools are doing and builds on the commitment of our transport provider, STS Group. STS is on a journey to reduce its carbon emissions and minimise its impact on climate change.
“It is determined to force change and, with the introduction of biofuel, has started to reduce the carbon emissions of its fleet. The lessons our students learn through being involved with initiatives like this will impact on the decisions they make as the leaders of tomorrow.”