A UNIVERSITY team that built a solar powered car to race across Australia shared tips with youngsters working on a green car project.

Pupils at Whitworth Park School, in Spennymoor, are building two electric racing cars for the Greenpower IET Formula 24 competition.

They must use a standard electric motor and two 12volt batteries but can use their imagination and research to design and build a car to travel as far as possible in 90 minutes.

The regional heat will be at Croft Circuit, near Darlington, in July.

Year nine pupils and members of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Club got to pick the brains of academics from the Durham University Solar Car team which visited the school with their vehicle today. (Wednesday March 2)

Teacher Mark Brown said: “The pupils learnt a lot by seeing the car and asking good questions and it raises aspirations.

“All our pupils can get involved in the project which is part of Whitworth Park’s drive to promote STEM subjects for boys and girls.”

DUSC took its car to the biennial World Solar Challenge in Australia in 2015, where a motor blow-out stopped it completing the 3,000km course across the outback, but hopes to return next year.

Andrew Messenger, former team principal with DUSC, said: “Our project is about developing technology, some members will work in the automotive industry and could shape cars of the future.

“It is also a far reaching and fun team event.

“It is enjoyable to go into a school to share our experience and hopefully be helpful and inspiring, I remember someone from industry encouraging me on a remote control boat project at school.”

The university team was introduced to Whitworth Park School by Lynn Gibson, a former pupil who now works with the Durham Energy Institute at Durham University.