What began as a fun school project for a group of Primary 7 pupils at an Aberdeenshire primary school ended up becoming an inspirational engineering and design project with the help of John Lawrie Group.

Pupils at Portlethen Primary were tasked with making working karts during their last term at school and parents were asked for help or specialist knowledge to achieve this goal.

One of the parents was Sharon Robertson, an accountant at John Lawrie Group, whose daughter Chloe attends the school.

Sharon says: “The children were looking for all sorts of material for their karts such as wheels, steel and wood. They wrote to John Lawrie Group asking if the company could help in any way.

“We were able to source all of these materials from the John Lawrie Group yard so that the children could get started on making their karts.”

The job of gathering all the pieces required for the karts fell to Bill Davidson, who was the company’s plant manager in Aberdeen until his recent retirement. Bill relished the task and made sure that all the required bits of wood were cut to the children’s specified sizes. But his involvement didn’t stop there. In order to ‘road-test’ a working kart, Bill designed his own one in his spare time and took it along to show the school’s would-be engineers. His plan quickly became adapted by the children and a few weeks later, sixteen working karts were built.

Parents and teachers were delighted with the children’s enthusiasm for the task.

Sharon remarked: “All the iPads and iPhones were put aside for a while and it was so good to see them going out and actually playing. They really had great fun being involved with the project.”

Chloe Robertson testing a kart made from recycled materials