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Hummingbird

STEM: Formula 24 Racing

We are delighted to have run a Formula 24 racing car at PHSG since 2011.  During that time many students have had the opportunity to be genuinely ‘hands-on’ with Engineering.

In order to allow as many students as possible to be involved each year, different engineering disciplines are explored. Whether it be working with hand tools to construct the car, or performing complex calculations to plan race-critical parameters, there is a place for all who wish to get involved.

Greenpower is the overseeing body, an international STEM development organisation who host numerous heats of the challenging 90 minute 24 Volt electric car races.  Each team has regulation batteries and motors and must have a minimum of 3 drivers in each race.  This requires high-pressure pit stops as well as consistent and assertive driving.  All team members must be aged between 11 and 16

Our car ‘Hummingbird’ has had a string of successes and we are delighted to hold an average of one trophy: one race for the 36 races we have entered so far.  We are currently proud to have won the PORTFOLIO AWARD at the International Finals in 2020.

The Portfolio Award recognises the substantial team work and ongoing education and development associated with highly regarded PHSG’s team.

Further Details

The Construction Team

The construction team are responsible for fitting all of the components of the car together. There are over 500 separate pieces in Hummingbird and they must all be installed in the right way for the car to work.


The heavy responsibility is making sure that all the parts are tightened correctly – if something comes loose during a race, it could mean that we get brought back to the pits on a recovery trailer and we would lose many valuable minutes.
 

All the construction team become experts with spanners, Allen keys, and sockets. We sometimes have to resort to using the persuader (hammer) when items do not go in or out smoothly.

Whenever a component is attached we must make sure it works properly; brakes, safety harness, mirrors, controls etc. We also try to work out ways of improving the designs as we go. Faster and Further are always on our minds!

The Performance Team

The performance team spend a great deal of time developing and analysing graphs.  Mathematics is a key tool of this group.  The answers developed are used to make decisions both before and during the races in order to maximise our distance in a race – a critical balance between speed and economy.  A perfect race is if we run out of power just as we cross the finish line, just ahead of our nearest competitor.

The Media Team

Our media team have been responsible for winning the Portfolio Award numerous times – documenting the learning and thinking that has happened over the course of a year which culminates in a competitive race day.

The team also seek commercial sponsorship for the team, report our exploits on social media, and keep an eye on what our rivals are doing too.