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The Corporation

Posted: 07/11/11

World record bid to inspire next generation of engineers

Around 300 school pupils across Mansfield and Ashfield will learn about engineering and a bid to build the world’s fastest land vehicle during a two-day event at Vision West Notts this week.

A team from the Bloodhound Project will deliver specialist engineering and technology workshops to children from 11 primary and secondary schools on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 November while demonstrating the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (SSC) – a vehicle designed to take the world land-speed record to over 1,000 mph.

The event – which takes place at the college’s Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and is spread over the two days – will give pupils aged seven to 16 the opportunity to see a scale model of the pencil-shaped vehicle, which will be powered by a jet engine and a rocket, and driven by RAF pilot Wing Commander Andy Green.

They will also construct and race their own balloon-powered car and hear from members of the Bloodhound Project about the science and engineering which goes into building the vehicle.

Guest speakers include Dawn Fitt, delivery director of the Bloodhound education team and former president of the Women’s Engineering Society, who will talk to female pupils about the career opportunities available to women – highlighting her own success in the industry having started as an apprentice.

Joining the team on the Friday (11 November) will be Sir Richard Noble, director of the Bloodhound Project and land-speed world record-holder between 1983 and 1997 after reaching 633 mph in a car named Thrust2.

Sir Richard will give a talk about the project to 30 of the college’s own engineering students at The Engine – its specialist engineering facility – after first addressing governors and stakeholders at the college’s annual review meeting.

College principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE said: “The Bloodhound Project embodies the same ethos as our college – promoting skills development in young people and regenerating the UK economy through innovation, technology and new ideas.

“By promoting skills development and training in key industry sectors, we can improve opportunities and aspirations of our young people and future workforce.”

Louise Knott, the college’s director of learner engagement, said: “This is a unique opportunity for school pupils and many of our own engineering students to engage in this exciting project, aimed at producing the next generation of engineers, scientists and mathematicians.

“It will provide participants with a real-life challenge that demonstrates the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths to the Bloodhound land-speed record attempt while encouraging young people to pursue further study, and ultimately careers, in these key industries.

"We’re delighted Sir Richard is able to join us on the Friday, which is a real coup for the college”.

The visit forms part of the Bloodhound education programme, which aims to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects by demonstrating how they can be harnessed to achieve feats such as breaking the land-speed record.

Launched in 2008, the Bloodhound Project helps pupils understand how important aerodynamics, weight and quality of engineering design are to the performance of the car.

For further information about the Bloodhound Project visit www.bloodhoundssc.com