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Bloodhound SSC makes its mark at science festival in advance of Newquay test run

Institution News Team


The Bloodhound SSC drew crowds at the Cheltenham Science Festival, engaging children, their teachers and families with engineering.

Bloodhound is GO:

Bloodhound will be making its first outing on 26 October 2017, at Aerohub Newquay. As an Institution Member you will receive an exclusive £5 discount off tickets for the public day on Saturday 28 October. You will have the incredible opportunity to see the car run and meet the team that has created the record-breaking car. Visit the Bloodhound website and have your membership number ready to claim £5 off.

Mark Chapman, Engineering Director at the Bloodhound programme, gave two free-to-attend talks about the car and its speed challenge while it was on display the week-long festival. Drawing in crowds of all ages, Mark discussed the components and structure of the car, the challenges they’ve faced in the past nine years and the much-anticipated Newquay test run in October.

More than 66,000 people attended the event, including over 6,500 pupils and teachers from 95 schools interacting with the numerous STEM activities on display and plenty returning with their families at the weekend.

It was an opportunity to raise Bloodhound’s profile ahead of the Newquay test run on 26 October, to engage schools with the project and STEM-related activities, and help enthuse the next generation of engineers.

On the Institution’s stand, hosted by Bloodhound, a variety of activities were run by STEM Ambassadors and the Institution’s Western Region volunteers. Over 70 schools signed up for the popular Bloodhound education toolkits, which contain STEM activities that are led by Institution ambassadors. 

The festival was also an opportunity to raise the profile of the STEM Insight programme, which focuses on developing teachers’ understanding of engineering careers through placement schemes.  

Bloodhound at the Cheltenham Science Fair

The stand attracted great numbers of visitors who, thanks to the enthusiasm of the volunteers, took part in model-making activities using ordinary recycled household objects. Working models provided by Caroline Alliston CEng FIMechE, founder of Technology for Fun, included fairground rides, vibrating brush monsters, fan boats, programmable traffic lights and buggies and many more. The stand was so popular, visitors were still there an hour after official closing time over the weekend. STEM Ambassador Rob Bates, who attended all week, said:

“Parents would often be brought back to our stand by their children for one last look!  For me, this level of engagement and the increasing confidence of the adults to undertake the activities with the children, encourages my thoughts about the engineering future of the UK as the next generation of engineers comes forward.”

For Key Stage 3 students, an exciting workshop was created and run by teams of MoD Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) graduates and apprentices. The aim of the session, which ran three times for around 100 participants in total, was to engage the students in engineering activities and highlight engineering as a career path open to everyone. They challenged participants to think like an engineer in a catastrophic scenario, to address a series of problems and work collaboratively to produce renewable energy. 

Ian Parsons MSc CEng FIMechE, Chair Western Region, said:

“I would like to thank Rob Bates and his team of talented graduates and apprentices from DE&S for their imaginative workshop, the innovation of which attracted great praise from organisers, teachers and participants.  A superb example of how to enthuse a very broad group of youngsters to consider engineering as their first choice of career.

“Caroline’s ‘Technology for Fun’ workshops continue to attract great attention with a captivating hands-on experience for young engineers and supporting parents.
“We were delighted to share the tent with the re-energised Bloodhound, demonstrating the close links of the profession with this iconic project, keeping British engineering at the leading edge.”



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