Forget Volkswagen we’ve got new kids on the starting grid in NW!

Dearbhail O'Donnell waits in the pits in the St. Columba's /Newbuildgings Primary School Village Flyer during the Formula Derr E Primary Schools electric racing car challenge. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 19.09.15
Dearbhail O'Donnell waits in the pits in the St. Columba's /Newbuildgings Primary School Village Flyer during the Formula Derr E Primary Schools electric racing car challenge. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 19.09.15

Local schoolchildren hopped into their own electronically powered kit cars at a celebration event at Ebrington Square recently.

The Formua Derr E celebration event was organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Science and Innovation programme in partnership with Greenpower NI and STEM Aware, with financial support from the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure.

Gaelscoil Ui Dhochartaigh pupils from the Greenpwer IET Goblin Project who received medals and a Certificate of Participation for their school pictured after they received their medals from Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion following a day of racing during the North West Formula DerrE championship at Ebrington Square. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 19.09.15

Gaelscoil Ui Dhochartaigh pupils from the Greenpwer IET Goblin Project who received medals and a Certificate of Participation for their school pictured after they received their medals from Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion following a day of racing during the North West Formula DerrE championship at Ebrington Square. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 19.09.15

The Greenpower Goblin Project involved pupils from eight local primary schools – Oakgrove PS; St Colmcille’s PS; Gaelscoil Ui Dhochtartaigh; St Paul’s PS; Termoncanice PS; Strabane Controlled PS; Ballysally PS; Newbuildings PS and St Columba’s PS (joint team).

St Cecilia’s College, who played a significant role in the project, were in attendance to showcase their IET Formula 24 team’s MMXV Racing car.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion said: “I have been to many of the schools to see these cars being created and it is just fantastic to see the amount of work that goes into it.

“This project is really innovative for those taking part and a great way of promoting learning through technology.”

The Formula Derr E teams who competed at the weekend in a series of races at Ebrington Square at the weekend. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 19.09.15

The Formula Derr E teams who competed at the weekend in a series of races at Ebrington Square at the weekend. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 19.09.15

Director of Legacy with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Oonagh McGillion said Formula Derr E has been a fantastic success to date with over half of the awards at the Ulster University 2015 Greenpower NIIE Championships being secured by Formula Derr E Schools.

The programme has been very well received by all the schools taking part as it offered them an exciting and practical way for children to pick up new skills in the areas of engineering, technology and maths, which is a key element of our Science and Innovation Programme.

The Mayor presented prizes to the local schools who battled it out in their handmade electric IET Formula Goblin cars for pole position at Ebrington.

As part of the legacy of City of Culture 2013 the city and district have been hosting a dedicated programme of activity for Science and Innovation.

When it comes to creating opportunities for economic growth in the future there are no more important areas than Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Whether it be computer scientists, technicians or engineers they all can transform our world.

Industry, both locally and nationally, is crying out for people with STEM skills. Indeed, in today’s UK workforce, some 72 per cent of businesses rely on people with STEM skills and that figure is only likely to grow.

The programme is designed to enthuse our children, develop their awareness of the vast potential of STEM subjects and support our educators and business people to develop a positive environment in which STEM can flourish.

The Formula Derr E project is just one of the success stories of the programme to date.

If you want to find out more information and further details on the Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Science and Innovation Programme you can go to the www.scinnovate.co website.