The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias “Imagine a gender equal world”.
Formula 24 aims to inspire young people to become engineers by presenting the industry as an interesting and relevant career choice. Norwich High School for Girls began the project to address the issue of underrepresentation of women within the motor racing industry and to provide students with the opportunity to learn how to apply skills and knowledge they’ve learnt in the classroom in the real world.
Fifth and sixth form students submitted 150 words explaining why they would like to be involved with the project. Using and developing their love of STEM, the selected team designed, planned, built, made and raced their own electric F24 race car in a dedicated space within the school grounds. The car had to comply with technical and sporting regulations set out by Greenpower Education Trust.
The Norwich High School for Girls team has since participated in the Greenpower racing series which has taken them to top racing circuits throughout the UK to compete against other students from across the country.
They won the award for Best Newcomer at Lotus’ Hethel test track, finishing in sixth place in their category and eleventh overall, beating several teams with many more years of experience. The girls’ driving was excellent and incredibly consistent, putting in lap time after lap time within fractions of a second of each other. Considering the girls built the car in less than three months, they sailed through the event with no major mechanical issues, except a rather ‘shaky’ start with slightly misaligned steering. A quick fix left the car running smoothly all day.
“We couldn’t be prouder of this wonderful group, they did the school proud!”, said Norwich High School for Girls Head of Science and Physics Mr Gary Hyland.
Norwich High School for Girls Head Miss Alison Sefton commented: “At Norwich High School we are always looking for varied opportunities to inspire and excite the girls and support the idea of learning without limits. We were very fortunate to have received a generous private donation, plus funding from the JP Blanch Foundation Fund, for this exciting project to go ahead. I am delighted to see how well the girls have done with this project. The opportunity to race at the Lotus track was the culmination of a lot of hard work over the last few months and I hope that this is the first of many races for the Norwich High F24 team.”
One of the Norwich High F24 team, Zara Goodwin (Year 11) said: “I am really interested in STEM and F1. I was really keen to take part in the F24 project to get real-life experience of engineering and possibly the racing side of things. As a child I would always be excited to help my uncle (a mechanic) rebuild his tractor, and I have considered in the past having a job with engineering, and this will help give me more options for the future.”
A video for the project can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGtpscWSKaM
This project has since been selected by the group of schools to which Norwich High School for Girls belongs, the GDST (Girls’ Day School Trust), as part of their Spotlight Series which brings to life what it means to be a GDST Girl – confident, happy and fearless, prepared for the opportunities of the future: https://www.gdst.net/where-girls-learn-without-limits/
Main image shows Norwich High School for Girls F24 team