The Bloodhound model rocket car challenge

Project Representative
Mr. Richard Noble
Creation Date: 2013
Geographical Reach: Global
Nature and number of beneficiaries: Students and teachers - unlimited
Contact

The Bloodhound model rocket car challenge

About the Project

Run in schools or clubs the challenge can be taken on by anybody in full time education but must be supervised by a responsible adult. 

 The Challenge:

  • Open to individuals, groups, schools and colleges from all over the world
  • Consists of four classes - 3 limited by length of track and size of rocket or the unlimited class where any number, size or type of rocket can be used
  • Run in association with Guinness World Records

Can be run as a cross curricular activity with teams researching, designing and building their model rocket cars as part of their science, technology and maths lessons

Making model rocket cars is an exciting activity, but as with all projects there needs to be clear goals and objectives to make it a success.

The first question always asked is why should we do it? If we ask Richard Noble why he did Thrust 2 he will say for “Britain and the hell of it” and with Thrust SSC it was to prove that a car could go faster than sound. With Bloodhound SSC the aims and objectives were slightly different – to find out if a car can go at 1000 mph but the main aim is to inspire the next generation of school children to study STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

Like Bloodhound SSC, the Model Rocket Car Challenge will help students to understand the value of studying the STEM subjects and how these subjects can lead them to exciting and interesting careers and even help to break a world record!

Some of the topics that can be linked into the Model Rocket Car Challenge are as follows:

  • Newton’s Laws: Friction, air resistance and how thrust pushes the car
  • Chemistry: The chemical reaction that ignites the rocket
  • Maths: Calculating the point at which thrust is at maximum and peak speeds
  • Aerodynamics: What is the ideal shape for a fast car?
  • Material: What materials should be used and why?
  • Design: How different designs affect air flow and use of CFD software
  • Geography: The effect of different surfaces on speed
  • History: How the World Land Speed Record started
  • Art: Design Posters for the school’s attempt
  • Management Leadership: and structure to ensure the project is completed
  • Team work: Working as a team, using individual skills to benefit the team
  • Computing: Using CAD software, measuring stress and air flow
  • Event Management: Getting sponsorship, media, promotional activity, hospitality, etc. all ready for a Challenge Day

This list is only a small indication of what can be linked into lessons but it gives you an idea of the many varied areas that this Challenge can be used to inspire learning.

Context and Issue

BLOODHOUND SSC is designed to inspire a generation of young people all over the world in engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

The economic development of the planet demands greater and greater innovation in these areas if it is to cope with the demands of population growth. These core subjects are the building blocks of a strong, innovative twenty-first century economy, and the Bloodhound Rocket car challenge provides a simple, cheap and effective way to create the spark in students that lead to long term engagement in these subject areas.

Solution and Impact

The model rocket car challenge is the workshop we have singled out as the most powerful and most easily turned into a global challenge with minimal cost of engagement for schools. As such it is the obvious choice for a global challenge. Most importantly it is really good fun!

Future Developments

The goal is to see 2 million students around the world take part in the model rocket car challenge by the time Bloodhound SSC sets a new land speed record of 1000 mph.

who knows, with the current record in the unlimited class currently at 533mph, it is possible that a student team will set a 1000 mph record for a model rocket car before Bloodhound!

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1 comments
HaroFladly's picture
HaroFladly
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reply - Sep 17, 2017

Join the Discussion

1 comments
HaroFladly's picture
HaroFladly
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reply - Sep 17, 2017