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St John’s rocket cars blast through competition

Winning rocket car from the St John's Super Sonic team with winner's certificateWinning rocket car from the St John's Super Sonic team with winner's certificateTwo teams of St John’s Year 7 students have won first and third places in the regional final of ‘Race for the Line’ – a national rocket car racing competition which was held at the MOD at Corsham last week. 

The winning students, who call themselves the Super Sonic Team, will go on to compete in the National Finals at RAF Wittering on June 28.  There they will have the chance to win up to £1000 for the school.

The ‘Race for the Line’ competition is run by the Learning Partnership and sponsored by the RAF, Royal Navy and the Army.  The competition is intended to inspire tomorrow's engineers and scientists.  It has involved around 70,000 Year 7 / S1 students in England, Scotland and Wales.

The competition is inspired by the Bloodhound SSC, the British supersonic land vehicle currently in development, whose aim is to achieve a new world land speed record.

Testing and timing the rocket cars last termTesting and timing the rocket cars last termGary England, St John’s teacher and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Co-ordinator, explained what the competition involved.  “Students have had great fun using their knowledge of aerodynamics, forces and manufacture to design and make their own model rocket cars.  Inspired by the Bloodhound SSC, students worked in teams in Design & Technology lessons to produce their team car aiming to build the fastest.”

“They shaped styrofoam on the hot wire cutters, laser cutting wheels, cutting axles and explored straw bearings to make their car the best.  The model rocket cars also house a BBC Micro:Bit computer which records the speed and times.”

The St John’s team will be competing against 40 other teams from the original 18,000 at the National Final on June 28.  Gary will be working with the students as they prepare.

“We will be modelling new ideas and testing new designs prior to the finals to try and make the lightest and most aerodynamic model rocket car possible.”

 

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