Following on from the Year 7 Race for the Line Race Day (all Year 7 students competed to make the fastest race car in teams of four; where they had to design and make a rocket powered car), three teams went forward to the regional finals. This was held on Wednesday 25th April.
Our three teams started their day leaving school at 8:00am in the morning and setting of for the RNAS (Royal Naval Air Squadron) base at Yeovilton in Somerset. Very soon after arriving they entered the airbase and were given the materials to make another rocket car within the space of one and a half hours. Our three teams had to come up with names for their new rocket car and shape the car using a hot wire cutter, sandpaper and then attach their designed wheels and axle structure (this bit they had prepared before the day and some had cut their own coloured wooden wheels and redesigned the basic axle to reduce friction). After the frantic last minute gluing, decorating and quick testing had been carried out they were ready for the race session taking place in the afternoon.
Lunch consisted of both lunch and a tour and peak into the cockpit and engine of a working Wildcat helicopter in the hangar – one that we later saw being put through it testing in the air above the airfield.
Racing was exciting with each team setting up and then starting their rocket car. All cars managed to negotiate the track, although one did manage to lose its wheels in the process. Unfortunately we did not get into the top three positions but we enjoyed the day and felt that we had made a good effort.
The last part of the day was a chance to go round the Fleet Air Arm Museum next door to the base and try on the flying outfits, get into a rescue craft, pretend to fly the jets, steer the submarines etc. Finishing our tour with a guided experience of life on the deck and inside the Ark Royal aircraft carrier. All this and a chance to see Concorde and numerous planes, biplanes, helicopters etc.
So well done to our rocketeers and we look forward to our next STEM challenge!
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