Pupils run mini-Bloodhound rocketcars

Pupils from several Western Cape schools learnt how to build model rocket cars on Thursday and race the cars down a track.

The pupils were participating in a Bloodhound Supersonic Car workshop at the Cape Academy for Mathematics, Science and Technology in Constantia.

Dave Rowley, education director for the Bloodhound Project in South Africa, addresses pupils at the workshop. Picture: Willem Law. Credit: INLSA

Bloodhound SSC is a rocket and jet-powered supersonic car that will attempt to break the world land-speed record by exceeding 1600km/h (1.4 times the speed of sound).

The car is being built in Bristol in the UK and it will make the record attempt at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape in 2015.

David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science, told pupils the project would make many pupils in Britain and South Africa excited about science and engineering.


Dave Rowley, education director for the Bloodhound project in South Africa, said the project was special in that the research, design, manufacture and the testing of the car was being shared with schools and universities.

At Thursday’s workshops pupils were divided into teams to build their cars, and once completed the car was put on a track and the speed it which it travelled was measured.

Zakariyah Toyer, a Grade 11 pupil at the Cape Academy, found the workshop interesting.

“Many young people are not interested in science. This could get them interested in a fun way.” - Cape Argus