Students in Lancashire have been studying for careers in the green energy market by building model cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The lessons are the first in a series of ‘in-a-box’ activities funded by Future U and are designed to inspire students to take an interest in careers in the energy and low carbon sector when they finish school.

Lessons including the hydrogen powered car have already been delivered to students at Our Lady and St John Catholic College in Blackburn.

Careers lead at the school, Andrew Larkin, said: "It's an excellent resource and provides pupils with an opportunity to investigate future low carbon possibilities for travel.

"It will get pupils thinking of alternatives to fossil fuels and how their generation can help with climate change."

Schools can apply for the free boxes to be delivered, containing a self-assembly model car with a fuel cell that produces hydrogen from water to power the car motor.

The box also includes a lesson plan on low carbon energy sources of the future, plus details of careers available and the education paths available to land a job in the growing sector.

Energy and low carbon makes up one of the six industrial sectors identified by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership as ‘Pillars of Growth’ where the local jobs of the future will be focused, with students being trained up and encouraged to explore career paths to secure jobs in the industries.

Other boxes in the series will include advanced manufacturing, where students will learn the basics of building jet planes on a limited budget, plus lessons focusing on digital skills, food and agriculture, health and tourism and culture and place.

A lesson plan was also delivered by Future U to children in care at a recent conference at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel held by Lancashire County Council.

Audrey Swann, Head of Virtual School CLA at Lancashire County Council, said: "The young people were challenged to build a car powered by hydrogen in teams, an activity which was great fun as well as being informative and inspiring. Feedback from the young people was really positive."

Andy Foulds, Outreach Officer at Future U, said: “These identikit boxes are a full careers lesson for teachers and get students to think about future careers in sectors which we know will grow and require local workers very soon."

Future U works across Lancashire to increase career and higher education aspirations for young people and encourage teenagers to think about studying at university and their career aspirations.

Since the start of the project in 2017, Future U has delivered over 1,100 careers activities across 70 schools and colleges in the area.

Lancashire’s Future U works with a network of schools, in addition to colleges, higher education providers and local agencies to create tailored activities to meet the needs of students for now and the future.

For more details and for schools to order a box, visit