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STEM Challenge Day

Today our some of our Year 8 students took part in a STEM Challenge… Which included designing, making and testing a mini “supersonic” car… A bit like the Bloodhound SSC car that is being built in Bristol- to try to break the land speed record and achieve 1000mph.

The students also had the opportunity to make a presentation of their work to Iain Major, a visiting engineer from a company called 3D Systems… The local branch of the international company that designed and makes the Cubify Cubex and Cube 3D printers.

The students started the day being briefed about the challenge, organising themselves into teams and planning how to tackle the challenge.

Setting up at the start of the day…

Planning and research…also using iPads and the Bloodhound SSC augmented reality app

Getting on with some making! Amazingly some students wouldn't leave at break and lunch time… They wanted to carry on with the challenge.

Finding out about 3D printing… 3D printing has been used in developing some of the parts of the real Bloodhound project… Here the students are printing mini 3D models of Bloodhound using the new Cube printer.

The teams testing their models… They had to work out how to do this themselves. And of course do the Maths. They then compared their results to the speeds recorded with a data logger and light gate.

Some of the model cars.

And in this photo we can see some of the teams doing presentations of their work to Iain Major … The engineer from 3D Systems. Iain kindly gave the students feedback on their designs and presentations.

So, it was an absolutely fantastic day with students and teachers from D&T, Science and Maths all working together.

And of course we must thank Iain from 3D Systems for coming along to support us.

…. And next??… Watch out for our year 9 STEM challenge day later in the summer with the whole year group!

Supersonic Car

In a couple of weeks time I am going to run a STEM day for some of our year 8 students. The day is intended to be a pilot for another STEM day later in the year for the whole of year 9.

During the pilot project we are intending to set the students a “team challenge”… To design and make a rocket powered model car, measure the average speed along a course (they will have to work out how to do that themselves!), do a mini research project, and make a presentation to the whole group.

Of course it's likely that Bloodhound SSC will crop up sometime during the day… So I thought I would see if I could 3D print a model of the Bloodhound car using a Cube 3D printer.

Here are the models I produced… One about 60mm long and the larger one 115mm.


… Wonder if showing the students this will inspire any of them to use 3D printed parts in the design of their rocket powered cars?

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