12 July 2022

Abingdon Science Partnership’s collaboration with GKN Automotive enabled 30 pupils from Fitzharrys and Caldecott Primary Schools to visit the Formula Student championships at Silverstone on Friday 8 July. The pupils were hosted by a team of STEM Ambassadors from GKN, many of whom work at the Innovation Centre in Abingdon, as well as the event organisers from the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). After welcome snacks in the Champion Suite overlooking Silverstone’s starting grid, the pupils were extremely excited to see the electric go karts they have been building on display on GKN’s exhibitor stand. Many visiting undergraduate and professional engineers were astounded that these had been built by Year 6s and Year 9s. The pupils were also given access to team garages and competition areas that even GKN STEM Ambassadors had not accessed before, giving them a chance to get ideas for their own cars from experts at the next level up. There was even a promising offer of further sponsorship from a large manufacturer exhibiting at the event. The ongoing success of this project is a real testimony to the growing power of partnerships across Abingdon, this time supported through generous sponsorship and technical support by GKN Automotive as well as the schools involved. Sixth form mentors from Abingdon School, Hank He and Henry Dearden, as well as Andy Obeng from Fitzharrys have also helped as have teachers Mr Lawrence McCook at Fitzharrys and Ms Holly Irving at Caldecott. Everyone is very excited for the next step, which is to get the cars from Fitzharrys and Caldecott racing in competitions of their own next year.

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