Girls and boys at two Shirebrook schools are set to take each other on in a high speed showdown after signing up to build and then race their own go-karts.
Two teams – one male, one female – made up of pupils from Shirebrook Academy and Stubbin Wood School, both in Common Lane, will take to the track later in the year to see who is the quickest on four wheels.
Their first task, however, is to construct their karts, which involves staying behind after schools on Thursdays and getting to grips with mechanical engineering, which will include fitting the axles and wheels, sorting the suspension and installing the 200cc engines, which will give their karts a top speed of 20mph.
The challenge was launched following a staff visit to another school, which was already building its own karts.
Staff at the Academy realised that the project would provide excellent engineering experience for pupils but, to give the exercise extra spice, technology teacher Claire Armstrong, Pat Lyons, who is a teacher at Stubbin Wood, and the Academy’s head of technology Garry Topham decided to launch a male versus female competition and appealed for pupils to take part.
So far the teams have given their karts a nifty paint job – blue for the boys and pink for the girls – and will now get on with the task of building their machines, ready for the race, which will be held at a venue that has yet to be decided.
Mr Topham said: “The go-karts come as kits and they are quite complex to put together, so the challenge will give the students a fantastic opportunity to learn some engineering knowledge and learn how to construct something from scratch.
“We have been extremely pleased by the positive reaction from all the pupils taking part, especially the girls, who are really keen to learn and reckon that they can win.
“The girl versus boy competition is just a bit of fun, but there is already a lot of banter going back and forth so it should make for a brilliant contest.”
Mrs Armstrong added: “Making the go-karting club a competition has really sparked the imagination of the students.
“The girls group have really taken to this, proving that engineering is not just for the boys!”