We were very pleased to welcome Luke Deacon, a past Temple Moor High School/Sixth Form student, who came along to visit us at school on 9 July, along with some of his fellow students from Durham University, where Luke is an executive member of the motorsport team run by students alongside the Engineering Department.
This Summer Luke’s team (DUEM – Durham University Electric Motorsport) is carrying out a tour of schools in the UK (entitled STUK). The tour is taking in some of the team members’ old schools along the way to spread the word on sustainable energy and how this can be applied to transport and motorsport, raising awareness and attracting people to STEM careers. They also wanted to get the word out about Luke’s team and the amazing things which students can achieve when they commit their minds and time to it.
The team brought along with them their solar-powered car, Ortus, which attracted a lot of attention from both staff and students. One of our Year 12 students, Justin Radford, has written about what happened on the day, which you can read below:
“On Friday, 9 July 2021, a group of students and graduates from Durham University visited Temple Moor High School to bless us with their knowledge on renewable energy and the future it can provide for us.
To begin with, the first session was an hour of three members of DUEM, the name of their team which worked on the electric car, telling us about how the project, seemingly impossible, became possible.
They began by informing us of multiple different types of renewable energy such as tidal, wind and of course solar, and telling how each could be used for multiple purposes such as powering houses, factories, and travel. Their car, Ortus, runs off solar energy and could reach speeds of up to 70mph at midday in Australia. Which brings me on to my next point about how, this car (It was hollow by the way) placed 14th in an international race across Australia against other countries from all around the world (52 countries participated). Ortus runs from a small array of solar panels located on the roof of the car which cost a pretty penny to say the least, so just know, renewable energy isn’t all that cheap, even if it is the way forwards.
For the second session of the day, we were tasked with designing and creating protection for an egg to fall from three meters and survive without taking any damage to show us the difficulty of creating flawless protection with a limited budget, a time limit and such a fragile object as these are all things that they had to consider when making the protective measures for the driver of the car. Out of roughly ten teams having been given this challenge, only two eggs came out unscathed, even if one team did slightly cheat and build a makeshift parachute which was completely against the rules!!
Winning Team – Year 10:
Winning Pair – Year 12:
Finally, we got to see the car and just what a solar powered car looks like in the flesh (figuratively, not literally). The car itself was a shock to us all as it was unlike any vehicle we had ever seen; it was shaped like a letter ‘n’, and no, I do not mean it was a solid ‘n’ with no gaps, I quite literally mean that it had no middle, simply a top and the two legs. Of course, there was reasoning behind this, and it was to improve the aerodynamics of the car and increase the maximum speed.
Overall, the day was extremely beneficial to us as it opened our eyes to a world of engineering many of us didn’t even know existed, we were one group of a limited number of groups all throughout England who experienced such a unique opportunity which will most likely never happen again, however, I do look forward to many more events like this, which no doubt will be coming to Temple Moor in the future.”
Justin Radford, Year 12 student
Thank you to Justin for taking the time to write about the day. Thanks also to Mr Parkes and Mrs Murray for co-ordinating the day in school.
If you would like to find out more about Luke’s team and their work, here is their online presence:
LinkedIn/Facebook: Durham University Electric Motorsport