Two students from Swansea University, Vicky Thomas and Michelle Brown, gave a talk on Wednesday afternoon to the whole of Third Form, and a follow-up lecture to around 50 interested Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Formers, about their ongoing attempt to break 1000mph with a supersonic car – the Bloodhound SSC. It is a unique project by Formula 1 and aerospace experts to design a car that will set a new land speed record, break the sound barrier and travel faster than a bullet.
The students gave a very interesting talk to the Third Form on the development of the car so far. The talk was interactive allowing several pupils to join in with experiments, such as simulating aerodynamics with a leaf blower and cracking a whip to show the speed of sound, and it was also interspersed with movie clips of their progress. The talk finished with an interesting insight into engineering and the opportunities that STEM subjects offer for the pupils after school. Peter Marstrand (3rd, S) said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and it has inspired me, even more, to study engineering after school.”
Vicky then discussed the engineering aspects of design, the testing stages and the various problems that have to be explored along the way to an audience of Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Formers. The talk was concluded with a demonstration of the use of hydrogen peroxide in the rocket propellant for the car. Vicky not only talked about Bloodhound but also enthused about her role as a student ambassador for STEM subject and the wealth of exciting opportunities that are available in academia and industry for both girls and boys in engineering and technology.