capable of reaching speeds in excess of 150km/h on a track only 50m long!
Learners at St Patrick’s Christian Brothers’ College have been designing and are building a model rocket car, designed to travel more than 150km/h!
Bloodhound are holding a model rocket car workshop in the Northern Cape and are trying to introduce children – at a young age – to the practical applications of Newton’s Laws, aerodynamics, quality manufacturing and just general teamwork.
To do this, learners will be building a model rocket car, powered by commercially-available black powder rocket motors.
Bloodhound’s education director in South Africa, Dave Rowley, stated on Wednesday that the model car would be designed and manufactured in the morning. Each team of four would then be tasked with identifying the best aerodynamic shape for the 300mm long models, which are capable of reaching speeds in excess of 150km/h on a track only 50m long.
“The pupils will identify their individual roles such as team manager, head of manufacturing, design manager and press officer and will have the morning to complete their cars,” Rowley explained.
“Each team will be supplied with all the necessary materials including blocks of balsa wood for the chassis, wheels and axles and they will have to design their cars in the same way the Bloodhound design team did in the UK.”
Each team gets to run their model car twice, making sure that the rocket car has the structural integrity to withstand the high forces that it will experience during acceleration and deceleration.
Each rocket car will be timed electronically and the teams with the best result will be awarded prizes. Teams will also be required to present their design decisions for their rocket car, to the Bloodhound education team.
Lead Bloodhound ambassador, Christopher Maxwell, will run the day and has developed the challenge for South African schools.
“This very practical rocket car workshop provides many science, maths and technology learning opportunities in a fun and exciting way,” Rowley added.
Headmaster of St Patrick’s College, Jacques Tredoux, pointed out that science, mathematics and technology were now more important than ever.
“One can no longer focus on a mere subject pass. Students have to be exposed to additional opportunities in technical careers and practical training. It motivates pupils by stimulating interest and enjoyment and in turn develops open-mindedness and objectivity,” Tredoux added.