The team from Doncaster competed against 22 other schools from across the UK in this national driving competition where speed is sacrificed for efficiency. Their winning mileage was 794 mpg in the Wharthog vehicle they built from scratch and was driven by 14 year old student Matthew Griffin.
The Shell Eco-marathon competition challenges 11-16 year olds to design, build, and test fuel efficient vehicles. Pupils aim to complete the course at the world famous Rockingham Motor Speedway using the least fuel possible whilst maintaining a minimum speed of 15mph. This year the event was truly international as the UK school teams were joined by guest teams from universities in France, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, who were there refining their models for the European event in 2010.
The Sir Thomas Wharton team claimed 1st place in the Schools initiative class. The Schools initiative is for schools within their first three years of the competition. To help them along they receive a free engine, starter book and mentoring support.
Mr Lowndes, teacher at Sir Thomas Wharton, was proud of his students who had worked extremely hard on the car. “Taking part in the Shell Ecomarathon has been a great opportunity for the students to get real hands on experience of science and engineering. I’m thrilled that their dedication and hard work has been rewarded by winning this award.”
Newstead Wood School’s all-girls team, from Orpington, Kent, gave the boys a run for their money and gained 3rd place. This is the first year they have entered the competition and they were thrilled to have achieved such a result with a mileage of 374.6 mpg.
The overall schools class was won by Newland House School from Twickenham who achieved a staggering 1766 mpg in a car they built from scratch. Barry McGovern, teacher at Newland House, was overjoyed at the achievements of his students. “Taking part in the Shell Ecomarathon has been a wonderful few days with a great atmosphere and stiff competition. It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to work together as a team. They have been able to apply theory and use the skills they have learnt in the classroom on the track.”
Shell has been running Eco-marathon events for over thirty years in the UK and they are specifically designed to encourage the engineers of tomorrow to continue with their studies of science and engineering subjects.
Holger Paesler, Site Manager Shell Technology Centre Thornton & Global Manager for Shell Global Solutions presented the team with their award. “I’m always impressed by the student’s enthusiasm and would like to congratulate the students at Sir Thomas Wharton on their great achievement. I hope that they will go on to achieve great things in the world of science, technology engineering and maths.”
Shell volunteers play an important role in running the event. Staff assisting on the day included the Ferrari Formula 1 Project manager and the scientists who develop fuels for the Ferrari F1 team.
Norman Koch, Shell Eco-marathon Global Technical Manager, based at Thornton, says: “Our team of technical experts has a unique level of expertise in delivering all aspects of this competition, from the vehicle scrutineering to fuel measurement and safety inspections.”
“By participating in the Shell Eco-marathon Youth Challenge UK, the students get practical experience but also learn about how exciting the application of science can be. We hope that it will lead them to consider a career and ultimately opportunities in science to enhance the talent pipeline.”
For images from the event or further information, please contact Jenny Marsden
020 7934 8698 Jenny.Marsden@shell.com