Rocket-powered cars boost students’ future interests

A group of students from Include and Churchill Park schools in Lynn built and launched rocket-powered cars at Open Road on Thursday.

The pupils were encouraged by staff at the Open Road charity in Rollesby Road, as well as members of the Bloodhound supersonic car project, to create their own miniature rocket cars in teams of two for the Model Rocket Car Challenge.

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road 
Winners Travis Brooks and Aaron Parker ANL-160707-194800009

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road Winners Travis Brooks and Aaron Parker ANL-160707-194800009

The Bloodhound project relates to the supersonic car of the same name which will attempt to break the current land speed world record of 763mph by reaching 1,000mph.

The group also run an education programme to encourage young people to get involved with science, engineering and mathematics in the future.

On the day, the importance of science and technology was stressed, and students learned about key scientific figures such as Sir Isaac Newton.

But it was the launching of the rocket-powered cars that really accelerated the children’s interest and excitement.

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-195145009

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-195145009

The cars were raced along a wire and had to go through a set of timing gates twice within an hour to be eligible of setting a record.

The winning pair, Include School students Travis Brooks, 15, and Aaron Parker-Hunns, 14, won the competition as their car managed an impressive 55.37mph.

As a prize, they will have the name they chose for their car – Black Widow – displayed on the tail fin of Bloodhound.

Aaron said: “Seeing it win was the best moment.”

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-195110009

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-195110009

Travis said: “I think the pointed end of our car made it win.”

Churchill Park School pupils Shane Wyatt and Liam Bone, both 14, were runners-up with their car, Quanto.

Shane and Liam will also be rewarded with their team name gracing Bloodhound.

Terry Smith, a trustee of Open Road, said the experience would help inspire a generation of young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-195124009

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-195124009

He added: “It’s something that’s attractive to the youngsters – the idea of something developed specifically for a land speed record.”

Bloodhound is on track to undertake its world record attempt in South Africa in autumn next year.

The supersonic car is currently 85 per cent complete and is set to go through trial runs at Newquay aerohub in Cornwall in spring next year.

October 2017 will mark 20 years since the current land speed record was set by Thrust SSC in the US desert, which reached 763mph.

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-194723009

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road ANL-160707-194723009

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road 
Runners up Shane Wyatt and Liam Bone ANL-160707-194903009

Rocket cars being raced at Open Road Runners up Shane Wyatt and Liam Bone ANL-160707-194903009