The quick generosity of an Eccles-based Engineering group and The University of Salford have saved the day for a group of school pupils following the theft of their self-built electric go-kart.
Within hours of a crowdfunding campaign being set up to raise £4k to buy back the kart kit, the Morson Group in collaboration with the Morson Maker Space at The University of Salford moved swiftly to donate the full amount so the team can get back on the race track. The Morson Group includes design consultancy Morson Projects and Morson International – one of the largest engineering recruitment companies in the world.
The Race Invaders Team at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley will now compete in the final test day on the 17th July at Three Sisters Racing Circuit against teams from Bolton, Wigan and Lancashire – but the school was burgled last Monday night with the thieves making off a self-build electric go kart as well as tools and equipment.
The villains also attempted to torch the outhouse building where the kart was being stored causing a further £2000 worth of damage.
Dr. Maria Stukoff Director of the Morson Maker Space said, “We didn’t hesitate once we heard about the story and the crowdfunding campaign on JustGiving. As a University, we support many STEM-initiatives in our region, and more recently focusing on digital fabrication and the automotive industry. With our latest course in Automotive and Autonomous (Driverless) Vehicles Technology, along with our new Greenpower Electric Car Challenge programme – this is just an extension of students gaining those practical skills in this exciting sector.”
Adrian Adair, Operations Director at Morson International added, “We have several key engineering projects in the North West, not least HS2, and it’s critical that we work to bridge any skills gaps by attracting the best new talent in our region and for young bright minds to take up engineering skills and set them up for future careers right here in the North of England.”
Fred Longworth is one of several school teams taking part in the ProtoEV Electric Go Kart Challenge, the first schools competition where pupils learn how to convert petrol go karts into fully electric racing machines and compete against other teams to see which is the fastest. The challenge also involved the students learning how to design and digitally manufacture parts using 3D printing.
The ProtoEV Challenge is the brainchild of The Blair Project, a disruptive social enterprise specialising in tech education for schools, in partnership with Blackburn College’s Regional Automotive Technology Hub.
The organisation was set up by 22-year-old CEO Nile Henry and award-winning entrepreneur Dr Marilyn Comrie OBE to equip young people with the latest STEM and digital skills using the power of motorsport.
“We got the phone call from the Morson Maker Space less than three hours after we started crowdfunding and were just bowled over and moved by Morson’s generosity and The University of Salford’s engagement. The Race Invaders were left shocked and gutted after the theft of their kart. But the smiles are now back on their faces. It’s fantastic to see so much good come from something bad”.
He added “We now want to keep the momentum going and have decided to raise a further £4k so we can develop the ProtoEV concept and roll it out as a Greater Manchester wide competition for schools and colleges in September 2018.”
As an added bonus the Race Invaders team has been invited to visit the Morson Maker Space, which is equipped with high-tech laser cutters, 3D printers and computer-design facilities, and is billed as a ‘factory-floor’ for businesses, researchers and students to work together on digital fabrication techniques and processes.
The crowdfunding campaign can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/FredLongworthHigh