Watch: North-east school kids race homemade electric soapbox karts

School pupils from across the north-east drove spectators wild at a soapbox car event.

Forty schools from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire put pedal to the metal in the race at the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford.

The event, held by charity Green Power, offered pupils a way to learn STEM subjects in a practical way, by building an electric kit car, that was then raced against other schools.

The kits were delivered to the school earlier in the year, and it was up to pupils and staff to put them together, complete with their own exterior designs.

On the day, other than the races themselves, which take the form of drag, slalom and sprint events, the cars were judged on their body work, presentation and attitude.

Macduff Primary School walked away as overall winners, seven points clear of their closest competitor, Airyhall Primary School.

Gwen Sutherland, deputy head teacher at Macduff Primary, said: “There was a lot of preparation that went into it, from preparing the car, to planning the teams.

“This is the third year that we did it, so we’ve built up a great knowledge of the event.”

Gwen said race day “went really well”.

She said: “The kids were very excited about it. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them.

“The camaraderie between them was great, and they were working with the other schools that were there as well.

“There was a real buzz.”

The pupils didn’t feel like runaway winners during the competition, according to Gwen.

She said: “They didn’t think they had won until their name was announced, so they were all shocked.

“They worked really well as a team, and played to their strengths, which was great. Their behaviour was commendable.”

Tony Scott, the Green Power ambassador at the Transport Museum, said: “It was a good day, we had to shorten the races because of the heavy rain, but it was a good day overall.

“The kids really enjoyed the day as well.

“I’m always surprised by how much the kids enjoy it, and they made memories that will last forever.

“The most important thing is that it’s cross curricular, so if there’s a kid that’s not interested in the mechanical side, they can take part in something else, so it really does capture the whole curriculum across the school.”

Tony believes that the event is “vital” for helping children understand STEM subjects. He said: “The kids get really engaged, so they’re doing schoolwork without having to do work.

“It’s about getting them to do things that they don’t necessarily want to do.”

A spokesman for the competition said: “We had the most teams ever participating with 40 schools attending.

“Each school had their own unique take on their body work design and we would like to congratulate them as they each took part with great sportsmanship, despite the wet conditions.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful sponsor TAQA and their incredible volunteers.”

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