CUER are visiting the Isle of Wight in partnership with EcoIsland, ARM and Jaguar- Land Rover later on in September as part of a project which aims to inspire local pupils and the general public to think much more seriously about sustainable engineering and the need for younger students to follow in our footsteps.
We will host three activities days on the 26th, 27th and 28th at Medina College in the heart of Newport, picking out the potential of pupils from across the Isle of Wight’s secondary schools and colleges with a series of interactive engineering challenges. All secondary school students on the island have been invited to take part in the project which will see yet another appearance by our most recent trusty steed, Endeavour. We will also be taking our tour to the Isle of Wight general public, with demonstrations and public photo opportunities of the team and its latest vehicle across the island during the afternoons of these days as well as a dedicated public tour day on the 29th. Local and national press coverage is expected during our tour as well as a visit by the Isle of Wight Member of Parliament, Andrew Turner.
The aim of this visit to the island at the start of the new academic year is to show how young students are vitally important for the future of such academic pursuits as sustainable engineering, scientific research and environmental strategy. The engineering tests set by the team will be designed to test not just how students can assemble or hand-craft a design in order to accomplish a feat but also how well they can plan and even pay for the equipment and materials they use, including building customisable scale solar-powered cars. Skills such as these are tested to the extreme in the case of CUER, where each of our cars takes up to 18 months to build with parts coming from all over the world and overall budgets easily into six figures.
Each day is styled around specific student age groups, so younger secondary school pupils are tested against the clock early on in the tour, with the times getting reduced day by day to leave sixth form students with a logistical as well as engineering battle to fight on the final schools’ day on the 28th. Winning student teams are hoped to have their names decorating the Isle of Wight County Press after CUER leaves the island itself, though it is hoped the opportunity to work with a group of leading students of engineering and planning will leave a longer lasting mark for both the team and its hosts on the island. Ryan Weedon, the team’s current PR manager, said that the tour “hopes to draw the hidden and too often untapped interests of young students in all things environmentally sustainable and all things engineering into something they can really get their hands dirty with. We are hoping to use this chance to inspire a bright future for young students on the island and anyone else who is driven by the same principles we work for. ”
It is hoped that the four day visit will lead to even greater coverage being given both to the Cambridge University Eco-Racing team and to the Isle of Wight’s drive to show its young people that even the greatest technical feats can be pulled off – just like how CUER was created – with just a few creative and inspired minds. We are hoping to extend this tour in time across the country as part of CUER’s media, outreach and public relations strategy prior to our next big race in the World Solar Challenge in Australia late in 2013. This will mean Endeavour will get plenty more mileage before it is finally succeeded by our next model, but as the team regrows fom the start of the new academic year in October 2012, its old veterans much like its new recruits will push towards a future which may well see CUER as the first British team to ever win the WSC in 2013, as well as see them at the vanguard of new, inspired British sustainable engineering.