Schools in Wales challenged to break the world land speed record of 1,000mph

29/01/15
Supersonic Cymru

In a bid to break the world land speed record of 1000 miles an hour *based on the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), we are challenging schools in Wales with the ultimate science project.

A number of selected schools will put forward teams to participate in the competition based on the Bloodhound SSC design, exploring a number of variables and working with teachers and engineers to test and modify their designs through our national supercomputing network. Prizes will be awarded during an event to the teams who achieve the fastest result and the best presentation.

We are leading the Supersonic Cymru project in conjunction with several organisations as part of Schools Challenge Cymru, focusing on Pathways to Success schools.

Directed at Key Stage 3 pupils (aged 11-14), this project will provide first hand experience of real-life engineering tools, encouraging pupils to think about the opportunities that exist within the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing and ICT sectors. Pupils will be introduced to a web-portal and access to state of the art aerodynamics analysis software, especially designed by Welsh SME Zenotech, and encouraged to systematically modify the cars’ design parameters and analyse distance, speed and acceleration data online while also conducting classroom experiments to understand sound and aerodynamics to create a model suitable of breaking the land speed record.

Rick Hillum, CEO, HPC Wales is thrilled to launch this programme to pupils in Wales. He said: “Through Supersonic Cymru, HPC Wales is delighted to be opening up opportunities for pupils in Challenge Cymru Schools to experience supercomputing first hand.

“Based on the Bloodhound Supersonic Car, this innovative competition will provide pupils with hands on experience of engineering tools and systems through access to technology usually used by Welsh academics, PhD students and businesses.

“We are extremely grateful to the Welsh Government, The Bloodhound Project, Swansea University, Fujitsu UK Ltd, Technocamps and Zenotech for their support of this project.”

Ben Evans, CFD Engineer at Bloodhound says: ‘The Bloodhound Project is all about inspiring a new generation of engineers and scientists.  I am very excited about the Supersonic Cymru project which will allow school pupils to get hands on with the software that has been used to design the actual 1,000mph jet and rocket powered car.  Supersonic Cymru is a great opportunity for pupils to get to the heart of the fantastic engineering adventure that is the Bloodhound Supersonic Car.’

Welsh Government funding for this project comes as part of the Schools Challenge Cymru programme, which is an acceleration and concentration of school improvement efforts, focussed on secondary schools in Wales that face the largest challenge in terms of circumstance and stage of development.

An integral part of the programme is to encourage schools to work with key partners to deliver opportunities for learners that will widen their horizons and enrich their educational and life experiences.

By contributing funding towards the Supersonic Cymru project, Schools Challenge Cymru is helping to ensure that pupils are provided with a range of experiences that will inspire, stimulate and benefit them in the future.

To formally launch the project, we will be hosting an event open to pupils, teachers and families to see first-hand what the exciting challenge involves. The event will take place at Techniquest on Sunday 22nd March.