Reprinted with permission from the Greenpower Trust website: https://www.greenpower.co.uk/news/hull-street-race-2019-700-aspiring-engineers-and-scientists-compete-milestone-electric-road
The streets of Hull were charged with action on Sunday 28 April as 700 young people and racers took part in the UK’s first ever closed road electric race in cars they had designed and built themselves.
An estimated 5,000 people were in attendance at the Hull Street Race, organised by Greenpower Education Trust, as teams and supporters descended on the Queen’s Garden area of the city to compete in a variety of sporting challenges.
The event marks one of Greenpower’s biggest and most ambitious in its 20-year history. Businesses, schools, motorsport clubs, prospective employers, and the local community all came together in the heart of the city to execute a highly engaging and well-attended street race which championed the importance of STEM.
Baron of Kingston-upon-Hull, John Prescott, was also present during the event to see first-hand the rewards of the community’s investment in the race and its local young people.
What is the Greenpower challenge?
The Greenpower challenge gives young people a unique, hands-on experience of real world engineering applications. Its design-build-race initiative is tackling the skill shortage in the industry by engaging young people in STEM at an important juncture in their lives.
The Hull Street Race formed part of Greenpower’s 20th anniversary celebrations, which will see young people compete in up to 50 different events across the country in 2019. Silverstone Circuit is set to host the Greenpower International Finals in an exciting culmination to the year.
Hull Street Race in depth
There were 57 entries across the three Greenpower categories: Goblins (9-11-year-olds), IET Formula 24 (11-16), and IET Formula 24+ (16-25). Each team was supplied a kit to build its own age-appropriate car.
The Inspiration Zone, run by the University of Hull, attracted a high visitor count on the day from spectactors and participants who could enjoy a variety of science based activities. This included virtual reality demos, the opportunity to turn their hand to software programming and racing simulators, and the latest robotics innovations. Information on careers in STEM, energy and manufacturing was also readily available from Greenpower’s sponsors and partners. The Yorkshire EV Club was also in attendance, showcasing a broad range of electric vehicles that are on the road today.
The Hull Street Race was sponsored by Green Port Hull, supported by the Regional Growth Fund, which aims to establish Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire as a world-class hub of renewable energy and attract wealth and investment into the region.
The street race was also supported by companies such as Siemens Gamesa, Drax, and Phillips 66, all of which had their own named corners on the track. Hull College Group and Yorkshire Water were also partners of the event.
The awards dinner for the Hull Street Race will take place on 21 May at The Guildhall in Hull and will reunite all participants to celebrate their contribution to the incredibly successful event.
Gold Chassis on display
Coinciding neatly with its 20th anniversary year, Greenpower produced its 1000th F24 kit car shortly before the Hull Street Race. To mark the occasion, the 1000th chassis was spray painted gold and displayed at iconic locations within Hull, including Hullminster, The Deep aquarium, and the Humber Bridge.
Paul van Veggel, CEO of Greenpower Education Trust
“We’ve had a few days to digest what a fantastic event the Hull Street Race was! It was an ambitious and at times daunting task, but the result was a fantastic showcase of the Greenpower Education Trust and the work of the next generation of potential STEM workforce. We’d like to thank all our participants, organisers, volunteers and sponsors for their contribution and investment in time and resource. We simply couldn’t have done it without them.”
Ross Dean, UK Finance Director, Siemens Gamesa
“We’re really proud to have played a major part in the Hull Street Race and to have inspired the event through our investment in the city. It was wonderful to see so many young people really enjoying the day and brilliant that such big crowds turned out to cheer them on. It was a fantastic day and our volunteers were a big part of it. This is all about creating enthusiasm among young people for STEM subjects. We have a shortage of engineering skills and we need to inspire more young people to have an interest in those subjects to develop the engineers of the future.
There is no better way to do that than through events such as this, which combine STEM skills with the buzz of motorsport. It’s also a great fit for us as leaders in renewable energy as all the vehicles are electric-powered, so it was really a green energy grand prix! If we encouraged just one more person to take up engineering as a career that would be good, but I believe this event will inspire hundreds – the participants, their family, friends and supporters and many of the spectators.”
Mike Brown, Director of Industry Collaboration & Partnerships, University of Salford
“The Hull Street Race was brilliant. It was extremely professional, well attended, and the racing was great. I know what a logistical challenge Sunday must have been, but from a spectator perspective the event looked very professional and flawless.”
Rod Taylor, Hull Street Race Clerk of the Course
“I want to congratulate Greenpower on the absolutely marvellous event. There had been so much hard work put in. I thoroughly enjoyed it and well worth the tired feet. I am not sure what I had expected, but it really blew me away. I think the event showcased Hull, Motorsport and the youngsters who took part to a very high degree and I think everyone should be proud of their efforts.”
Bev Fletcher, Headteacher
“The Hull Street Race was a brilliant event. The children have got so much out of designing and then racing the car; it has been a wonderful experience for them. I will definitely be looking into getting involved next year.”
Kathryn Wesley, Wybers Wood Academy
“Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who has organised such a wonderful event for the children. They had a marvellous time and enjoyed being part of a bigger race day (including 24/24+). The races were well organised and staff/volunteers were extremely helpful with the public being very complementary too – all in all, a very enjoyable day.”