Edinburgh College receives £500 award for pupils’ STEM rocket car challenge

Edinburgh College today accepted an award for a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project that involved working with local schools to build model rocket cars based on one being used for the land speed world record attempt.

The college’s Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment has been awarded £500 and a trophy from the George Pettigrew Trust Fund for its BLOODHOUND Rocket Car Education Programme in association with the Energy Skills Partnership.

The BLOODHOUND Rocket Car Education Programme involves the college engaging with P7 school groups from all around the Edinburgh area as part of its P7 STEM Inspiration Experience project.

The programme raises awareness of automotive, engineering and scientific disciplines and inspires the pupils’ interest in STEM-related subjects.

A significant part of the experience requires the young engineers to design and build a model rocket car, based on the 1000mph BLOODHOUND rocket car itself. Inspired by the rules governing the world land speed record attempt that the BLOODHOUND rocket car is targeting, the model rocket cars are blasted along a wire through a set of timing gates, which gather critical speed data. This allows teams to evaluate the data and modify their designs to gain the best weight and aero-dynamic performance.

Ross Milligan, curriculum manager for Engineering, said: “To have been given this award is truly fantastic and speaks volumes about the P7 STEM Inspiration Experience we have at Edinburgh College.

“We have approximately 120 pupils from across the region visiting our facilities every week to learn about STEM subjects and to integrate with their peers from other schools before making the move to secondary school.

“There is a lot of work goes on behind the scenes by our staff to ensure the programme is run successfully, so winning this award is of huge credit to everyone involved.

“It’s a terrific project which inspires youngsters through challenges such as the BLOODHOUND Rocket Car Education Programme, something we’re very proud to be a part of as we aim to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.”

The award was donated on behalf of the Pettigrew Charitable Trust, which has strong links to the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) and assists young people in embarking on careers in the motor industry.