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Crawley schools encouraged to join in for the “Big Pedal 2018”

Schools across Crawley are encouraging children, teachers and parents to jump on their bikes and scooters for Sustrans Big Pedal 2018 – a UK wide event to get more young people cycling and scooting to school, supported locally by Crawley Borough Council.

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The Big Pedal 2018, which runs from today (23 April) to Friday 4 May, will see pupils, parents and teachers across the UK leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school.

Organised by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, and sponsored by Micro Scooters and Tonik, the Big Pedal is the largest competition of its kind in the UK.

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During the 12 days, participating primary and secondary schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike or scooter.

To encourage local teachers and children to take up the challenge, the council’s Sustrans Bike It Officer has teamed up with Decathlon in Crawley to organise three prizes in the form of spending vouchers for local participating local schools.

Prizes are awarded to those schools that cycle the most; show the most improvement and are most consistent in their efforts.

Schools that have their bikes wheels pumped up and ready to go include: Forge Wood Primary, Langley Green Primary, Milton Mount Primary, Northgate Primary, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary, Waterfield Primary and Gossops Green Community Primary.

Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont, who holds the Guinness World Record for cycling around the world in 78 days, is backing the Big Pedal 2018.

After 18,000 miles on the road last summer, covering 240 miles a day and taking in 16 countries, Mark smashed the previous record by 44 days.

The theme of this year’s Big Pedal is ‘Around the world in 10 days’, with pupils tracking their progress on a map of the world, learning about some of the countries Mark passed through on his trip.

According to government guidelines, children and young people aged 5 to 18 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and walking, scooting or cycling to school is great way of doing this.

Furthermore, teachers find that pupils who walk and cycle arrive at school more relaxed, alert and ready to start the day than those who travel by car.

Last year nearly 1,700 schools registered to take part, with teachers, parents, siblings and pupils making more than a million journeys to school by bike or scooter.

The Big Pedal 2018 is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils expected to take part.

There’s still time for schools to sign up at www.bigpedal.org.uk
For more information about cycling in Crawley, visit www.crawley.gov.uk/cycling

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Education

Crawley school celebrates science win with Ardingly College and their solar car

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Ifield Community College and Ardingly College have won the Times Educational Supplement Science, Technology and Engineering Team of the Year.  

Lead judge Jo Foster said that the project was “absolutely exemplary”. She added:

“From success in international racing events to effective outreach to other schools both at home and abroad, this project goes the extra mile.

Ardingly Ifield Solar has been running for nearly a decade educating hundreds of students in sustainable mobility technologies by designing, building, and racing solar powered cars.

It is a true collaboration between Ifield Community & Ardingly Colleges. In addition, the project works closely with 33 companies and three universities bringing the latest technologies right into the classroom.  

The team’s accolades include driving the solar powered car they made 3000km across Australia, outperforming  Cambridge and Stanford universities in the Bridgestone World Challenge; and racing in France and Belgium in Solar endurance races and being awarded a special ‘Spirit of Albi’ trophy whilst there.

The team were planning on raising awareness of sustainable transport nationally by travelling the length of the UK, but this has been postponed until August 2021 due to current Covid-19 restrictions. This has not stopped the team, who continue to meet twice a week virtually, and are planning their next project: a flat pack solar powered vehicle(a replacement Tuk Tuk).

Miss Sumpter, teacher at Ifield Community College says:

‘I am so happy the team has been recognised for their enthusiasm and dedication to STEM. It is a pleasure to be part of this project, and I am immensely proud of everyone involved. I hope the impact of this project will continue to influence STEM careers.’

For more information on their project, please visit their website: https://www.ardinglysolar.com

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