Driving passion for STEM with eco-inspired racing car

Leading engineering firm Briggs of Burton backs youngsters bid to race at the iconic Goodwood track as part of a community project to encourage more young people into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Hilton Formula 24 is an innovative  project run by local science and technology company STEM Venturi, giving youngsters aged 9 to 16 the opportunity to design, build and race an electric car as part of a nationwide competition run by Greenpower Educational Trust. Primarily run through schools, the group are the first community team of its kind in the Midlands and one of only a handful available across the UK.

Briggs, who are based in Staffordshire and work with leading blue-chip companies around the world to deliver turnkey engineering solutions, are supporting the project through sponsorship funding and providing engineering expertise to help local youngsters to take part.

Specialising in leading engineering solutions for the brewing, distilling, food and pharmaceutical industries, the company has not only donated £5,000 to support the project but will also provide the opportunity to hold test runs for the racing car at their new Global Technical Centre. Experienced engineers from the company will also provide technical talks on related engineering topics and hands on demonstrations on techniques such as sheet metal bending and welding.

Tom Barnett, Business Development Manager at Briggs as well as a STEM ambassador, said the project was a great opportunity for the company to inspire young minds looking at a career in engineering.

“Briggs is proud to be able to support HF24 and this community project. More needs to be done to encourage and support young people who are interested in a career in engineering.

“The UK is home to a wealth of leading engineering expertise and projects like HF24 help to nurture and encourage new talent as well as helping to support the growth and development of our current engineers.”

A team of 12 9- to 14-year-olds have so far put together the basic structure of the race car, with work now turning to designing the outer shell as well as completing the electronics and solar powered charger for the battery.

The group will then go on to test and race the car with drivers aged 11 and over taking it in turns to race around various UK tracks to qualify for the final championship race at the end of the year. The final will be held at the iconic Goodwood race circuit, in Chichester, famous for the super car Festival of Speed.

Holly Davies, Founder of STEM Venturi  which offers coding and STEM opportunities to young people, said it was a great opportunity for young people to get hands on experience within the industry.

“Receiving financial support from Briggs has given the project a much-needed boost. Having the opportunity to work with engineers from Briggs who are equally passionate about engineering and encouraging young people to get involved with STEM is rewarding.  The project’s core aim is to help the youngsters learn and develop their soft skills such as problem solving but also learn the fundamentals of engineering in a fun way.”

“We are there to help and supervise but the real work, ideas and skill comes from the young team working together to bring their vision to life. It’s really refreshing to see them in action and the friendships they are forming along the way.”

The team meet every Sunday in Fauld, and it is hoped that the bespoke car will be ready to test by the end of the month with the team facing their first qualifying race at the historic Goodwood race circuit in May.

The event by Greenpower Education Trust aims to inspire young minds to consider a role in engineering after research by The Royal Academy of Engineering found a skills gap of around 104,000 STEM graduates every year and 56,000 technicians.

STEM Venturi’s purpose is to prepare students for their digital future. They do this through fun hands-on coding and technology projects including 3D design and printing, game design and coding, programming robotics and more. The small, not-for-profit organisation run after-school technology clubs, holiday clubs, online coding courses and an innovative 3D printer loan scheme for schools across the Midlands.

Briggs of Burton PLC was originally formed over 285 years ago specialising in brewing equipment and engineering and is known worldwide for its turnkey brewing and distilling capabilities. Started by Samuel Briggs in 1865, Briggs of Burton’s history can be traced back to 1732.

Today the company, which employs over 250 staff across six sites including Burton on Trent, Prestonpans in Edinburgh, Scotland, Rochester, New York State, Louisville, Kentucky, Shanghai, China and Puebla, Mexico providing turnkey process engineering solutions for leading companies across the world covering North America, Europe, Central America, Africa, Australia, Japan, and China.

Their innovative and sustainable approach means that Briggs of Burton PLC are leading the way in nurturing the engineers and technical capabilities to drive efficiencies and environmental improvements across all sectors of manufacturing.

More information is available at www.briggsplc.com or for information on ways to get involved in the Hilton Formula 24 and updates on their progress visit www.hf24.co.uk or contact STEM Venturi on holly@stemventuri.org or 07921 334978.

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