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.


April 24, 2019 (last update 09-10-2019)