Ipswich schoolchildren embrace the need for speed

Royal Hospital School pupils reached the finals of Race for the Line, a competition tying into Bloodhound SSC's attempt on the land speed record

Year 7 pupils at the Royal Hospital School were finalists in Race for the Line, a rocket car build-and-race competition pioneered and sponsored by the Bloodhound Project.

The Project is a global engineering adventure using a 1000mph world land speed record attempt – by the 135,000 HP British supersonic land vehicle, Bloodhound SSC – to inspire the next generation to enjoy, explore and get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Bloodhound Education Programme involves visits to schools, activities at the Bloodhound technical centre, and free online science and technology resources. The main highlight, though, is Race for the Line, championship.

“The racing, watched by HRH Sophie the Countess of Wessex, was exhilarating, with the winning car reaching an amazing speed of 66mph.”

Mark Edmondson, Physics Teacher and project leader at the Royal Hospital School, said: “In April, our Year 7 pupils sculpted, sanded and streamlined blue blocks of foam into what they hoped would be a qualifying rocket car. Teams lined up in eager anticipation as each car was raced dramatically in a cloud of smoke and shower of sparks through a timing gate. The fastest three teams would then advance to the regional stage competing against other schools from across East Anglia.

At the regionals, held at the Royal Hospital School, pupils had to make a new car using what they had learnt from previous tests and research, desperately trying to obtain marginal gains through mass reduction and aerodynamics. Once again, teams took to the tarmac to test their machines against the clock. Our pupils made a clean sweep of the competition and took the top three positions. The top two teams were invited to compete at the national finals at RAF Wittering on the 28 June.

The racing, watched by HRH Sophie the Countess of Wessex, was exhilarating, with the winning car reaching an amazing speed of 66mph. The fastest Royal Hospital School team came in only 0.006 seconds slower, in ninth place, very closely followed by our second car in tenth.”

The finals also involved a full day of STEM activities organised by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, and pupils were able to see first-hand how STEM is involved across a wide array of careers.

For more information: bloodhoundssc.com