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STEM experts launch rocket car comp

World's largest STEM Initiative The BLOODHOUND Project launches Race for the Line rocket car competition

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | September 24, 2016 | Primary

Working closely with Microsoft Education and the British Army, the Race for the Line Rocket Car Competition will be rolled out to 4,000 schools across the UK, reaching an estimated 112,000 students.

Inspired by the rules governing the Word Land Speed Record attempt that the 1,000mph BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car is targeting, the model rocket cars must blast along a wire and through a set of timing gates with a BBC Micro:bit accelerometer on board gathering vital data that enables the Teams to modify and improve their designs.

Teams compete at open race days at one of 120 regional Race HUBs. The top two primary and secondary school teams from each hub will qualify for the regional finals in March 2017. The winning primary and secondary school teams at each of the 15 regional finals are invited to the national finals held in June at the Santa Pod Raceway, Northamptonshire.

The winning team will be invited to join the BLOODHOUND Team in South Africa for a once in a lifetime trip to see the Supersonic Car making history on the Hakskeen Pan.

BLOODHOUND Education Director, Aulden Dunipace said: “BLOODHOUND is the most extreme engineering project out there and we get to link it directly with classroom learning. The BBC Micro:bit Model Rocket Car Competition brings real world science, technology, engineering and mathematics into the classroom.”

The fact that we are now talking about educating students how to extract data to tweak a model rocket car, and encouraging them to experiment with the car design to improve its performance, is simply astonishing

Steve Beswick, Senior Director for Education & Charities, Microsoft UK, added: “The future of education hinges on how technology is able to accelerate and improve learning, and the BLOODHOUND initiative is a true example of how to engage students and get them excited about STEM related subjects. The fact that we are now talking about educating students how to extract data to tweak a model rocket car, and encouraging them to experiment with the car design to improve its performance, is simply astonishing. To complement this, there will be Microsoft volunteers visiting schools all over the UK, helping those that want to get involved with the initiative. Since its inception, the BLOODHOUND Project has surpassed all expectations, and it’s fantastic to see young students getting passionate about engineering.”

Race For The Line is part of the BLOODHOUND Education Programme, the word’s largest STEM initiative, which, through a dedicated team of 600 specially trained ambassadors, engages over 100,000 pupils each year. The Project’s primary aim of inspiring the next generations of scientists and engineers is already bearing fruit. Founder sponsor of the Project, the University of the West of England has had to close applications to its engineering faculty to new applicants as it is fully subscribed and cannot take anymore, a situation they attribute to the BLOODHOUND Effect. 

Participating teams will learn about Newton’s 3rd law of motion, physics, engineering, chassis design, how rockets work, teamwork, time keeping and most crucially, mathematics to calculate the speed attained.

Schools and youth groups can visit BLOODHOUND’s social learning site to find out how to enter by clicking on www.racefortheline.com and must register by 31st October to receive their free rocket car kits. 

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