New project revs up for action at Grassington Primary School

Wednesday 16th January 2019

A new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) project crossed the start line at Grassington Primary School this week.

The ‘Primary F1 Wharfedale’ project is an exciting way of introducing pupils to ideas of design and engineering by conceiving, constructing Formula 1-style racing cars from cardboard.

It is based on the Brighouse education engineering company, Denford Ltd’s ‘Primary STEM Project’, that they have recently launched, as a way of introducing Year 5 and 6 children to the world of racing so that they might be interested to take part in the international ‘F1 in Schools’ competition for 11-19 year olds.

The ‘Primary F1 Wharfedale’ project, being led by Grassington Primary School teaching assistant, Stuart Willis, is being run as a series of after-school clubs in which children will design their own racing car, based on a standard chassis, aiming to make it as aerodynamic as possible. Children are working in teams of up to four and will race their cars against each other.

In addition to Grassington Primary School, Mr Willis will also run the club over the coming months in the other schools of the Upper Wharfedale Primary Federation – Burnsall, Cracoe & Rylstone and Kettlewell. He will also visit Threshfield and Boyle & Petyt Primary Schools to deliver the activities. At the end of the project, in June, the Year 5 and 6 pupils from all six schools will have an ‘End of Project Race Day’, kindly hosted by Upper Wharfedale School, at which all of the teams will race against each other and there will be a final Primary F1 Wharfedale Champion for 2018-19.

The project could not run without the help of staff from Upper Wharfedale School, who are helping by sharing their knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, it has only been possible to purchase the necessary equipment thanks to sponsorship and grants from Midgley Motor Cars in Skipton and Threshfield, Cracoe & Rylstone Community Fund, BOSS (Bellas Office Supplies & Stationary) and Eddie B. Webster & Sons Ltd from Cracoe.

Mr Willis said, ‘The project is a fantastic opportunity for the children who attend the schools in Upper Wharfedale. It will provide so many learning opportunities, from the science of aerodynamics and engineering principles of testing and improving to more general skills such as teamwork, communication skills and independent working, but above all, it should be great fun for the children!’

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