KMF (Precision Sheet Metal) is working with local schools to help inspire the next generation of engineers.
The Newcastle under Lyme sub-contract sheet metal specialist is funding and supporting teams of 9-11 year olds, who are building electric cars as part of The IET Formula Goblin Project organised by The Greenpower Education Trust.
This initiative by KMF is an extension of its existing The Young Engineer of the Year Awards, supported by the National Apprenticeship Scheme, that are currently underway across North Staffordshire, with 20 high schools signed up to take part.
"With the IET Formula Goblin Project, we are hoping to encourage even younger students to consider engineering as a career option," says Gareth Higgins, KMF's managing director. "We have two schools involved at the moment, but we are actively looking to support other, enthusiastic, teams from the Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent areas. We are happy to purchase the Kits cars for the schools."
The first school to benefit from KMF's support was Our Lady and St Werburgh Catholic Primary School, whose team of 16, year 6, children and one teacher visited KMF's state-of-the-art factory recently to take delivery of the Goblin Flat pack kit and make use of the KMF apprentice workshop to build the finished electric vehicle and gain a basic understanding of mechanics, before taking it out to test it against other schools up and down the country.
The build time for the Goblin kit car is approximately 15 hours with the children having to design their own bodywork. During their time at the KMF factory the children were supported by KMF's apprentice trainers Steve Dalton and Nigel Tomkinson, along with third year apprentice Zachary Peacock and maintenance engineer Glyn Preston.
With the experience of helping the children from Our Lady and St Werburgh Catholic Primary School, KMF has now provided funding for a second Formula 24 kit and presented it to St Joseph's College in Trent Vale, Stoke on Trent, which will be making a similar visit to KMF in the near future to build their car.
The Formula 24 car kit is aimed at the 11- 16 age group. "We hope to be able to help a number of schools to take part in this challenge by purchasing the Greenpower Kits for them and offering our time and expertise to help them complete the build," says Jenny Conlon, KMF's Training Centre manager. "If any school in the Newcastle under Lyme/Stoke on Trent area wants to talk to us about funding of the kit they can contact me by e-mail at email@example.com."