Students Nathan Wragg, Chris Cartmel, Jackie Chalmers and James Carroll with their winning electric car.

Four students from Fife College have raced their way to first place in an electric powered car they built themselves, learning some great new skills along the way.

James Carroll, Jackie Chalmers, Nathan Wragg and Chris Cartmel have all proved they’ve got have what it takes to build and race a winning car, after taking part in the Greenpower Scottish Heats at East Lothian’s East Fortune Raceway recently.

Greenpower Education Trust is a UK based charity which encourages young people to get enthusiastic about science and engineering by challenging them to design, build and race an electric car.

Fife College is committed to finding new ways to encourage students to improve their skills in engineering and so bought two kits from the Trust for the students to build.

The winning designed car, complete with Fife College branding, was the fastest amongst the kit cars. It positioned third place during practice and first in the final race, competing against 20 other competitors from schools, colleges and training establishments from throughout Scotland.

The students built the car form a base kit, which included a framework, wheels and engine, and then designed and manufactured the safety cage and body work.

Cars went through strict scrutineering before the race to ensure all cars met safety and build standards, and were equal in performance.

The students built the car and carried out testing throughout this academic year, over and above their course work. The students, with support from their lecturers, were committed to the project and happy to put in the extra hours to compete in this fun project which has helped them gain a wide range of new skills.

Jackie Chalmers, 24 from Glenrothes, who is studying Introduction to Engineering and Technology, said: “We’ve really enjoyed building the car – it has been a challenge to get it the way we wanted it but so worth it. Taking part in the race was a great experience, when we found out we had come first place we were really excited.

“Each of us took a turn to drive the car in the final race so it has been a real team effort. I would recommend this type of experience to other students as it really helps you learn more about automotive engineering as well team skills.”

Jackie’s fellow team mate, James, is also studying Introduction to Engineering Technology while Nathan and Chris are both studying Certificate: Transport Maintenance.

Stephen Ayton, Curriculum Manager for Mechanical and Automotive Engineering at the College’s Glenrothes Campus said: “The students have done a fantastic job, not only in building such a great car but also racing it to the winning position. This is a great way to learn and put skills and theory in to practice. We have another kit ready for a new group of students to build and look forward to taking part in similar projects in the future.”

Fife College offers a range of engineering and automotive courses – for further details visit our course page or call 0344 2480115.