Inspired by the rules governing the World 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.
“The future of education hinges on how technology is able to accelerate and improve learning,” said Steve Beswick, senior director for education & charities at Microsoft UK. “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.”
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.”
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 must register by 31st October to receive their free rocket car kits. They can also arrange for the BLOODHOUND Education Team to visit and deliver an introduction to Model Rocket Cars, providing training to safely run rocket cars in school.