BLOODHOUND Ambassador Sophie Lovejoy took the BLOODHOUND Project in to Finborough School recently, and got just as excited as the students.
Here’s Sophie’s story and the reaction from the school and its students. If they inspire you to get involved, find out more about becoming an Ambassador and then get in touch with us as we’d love you to join our Team.
To find out more about booking a workshop, click here.
Sophie’s BLOODHOUND experience
"As soon as I first found out about BLOODHOUND at Santa Pod in 2010 I knew I wanted to be involved. I was blown away by what the Team were trying to achieve and it's been such a privilege to become an Ambassador and go into schools to tell them all about the project. “At Finborough School, I had the chance to work with 57 students in Years 6 and 7, and 75 students in Years 8 and 9. The younger students were initially more enthusiastic during the presentations, asking lots of questions and getting very excited – but that’s typical of most schools I’ve been to. And that said, I've yet to meet a student whose interest isn't aroused by some of the extraordinary things we share with them, whether it's about using a Jaguar engine for a fuel pump or the temperatures reached inside the rockets.
“After a presentation about the Car and the project, it was off to the science labs to build rocket cars. I'm not sure who got more excited; me, the students, the teachers or, indeed, the head teacher, who not only came to cheer on the cars fired in the morning, but who appeared halfway through the afternoon workshop and got stuck in with a hacksaw.
“Once the teams had built their cars, we spent a happy hour launching them across the school car park (once the cars had been moved, of course). I was so impressed with how engaged the students were, and the quality of their questions, a couple of which I couldn't answer straightaway. I like those questions, because I can learn alongside the students, teaching them where to look to find out the answers themselves.
“The feedback from the school was fantastic, and I can't wait to do it again. Being an ambassador is immensely rewarding and I'm delighted to be a part of the adventure."
Finborough School and its students recount the day
“What an amazing, incredible, exciting day we have just experienced in the Science department! Students and staff alike thoroughly enjoyed a day centred on the BLOODHOUND World Land Speed Record attempt.
“Sophie Lovejoy, BLOODHOUND Ambassador, filled us full of facts and figures about the project, the people and the science and engineering involved in attempting to travel at over 1,000mph! We were given an insight into the hard work that is involved in getting a project of this magnitude off the ground, from the tonnes of stones and pebbles that have been cleared over a 3 year period at the Hakskeen Pan, South Africa, the carefully selected location for the record attempt, to the use of a Jaguar V8 engine as a mere fuel pump!
“With their imaginations primed, our students set about creating their own record-beating rocket cars with nothing but hacksaws and sandpaper to assist them. And soon the Science department was filled with the sound of high density polystyrene being sawn, sanded and hammered! Thankfully no limbs were amputated nor thumbs flattened, and some of the creations constructed were breathtaking! Mr Clark [head teacher] even joined in and proved himself to be a dab hand with a saw. Just don’t ask Woody Jackson what happened to their car on the way to the test strip…
“Once the cars were constructed and liveries applied, it was time to see how effective the designs were. A 30m test strip was created, though for the sake of safety the cars were attached to a wire tether. Each car had a small rocket engine carefully inserted and with a traditional countdown the cars were launched down the test strip.
“With a small burst of flame and lots of smoke the 30m track was annihilated by each and every car to the absolute delight of every participant. The winning team from the morning session was ‘The Green Dragon’ (Cleo, Ellie, Lara, Jess and Rhiannon), closely followed by ‘Pocket Rocket’ (Fin, Adam, Thomas, Ben and Jamie) in second.
“The afternoon session saw more intense competition and the track had to be extended. This time the victorious was team ‘Monster’ (Emily, Alice, Kira, Harry and Ellie) by a nose, narrowly defeating team ‘MTN’ (Kieran, Robin, Nick, Benji and Will).
“Finborough School will now go on to travel at over 1,000mph, as we are very proud that the school name will adorn the tailfin of BLOODHOUND SSC as it attempts to break the current World Land Speed Record!
“We’d like to give a massive thanks to Sophie Lovejoy for sharing her expertise with us and ensuring that everyone had an amazing day. And we look forward to receiving regular updates as BLOODHOUND moves ever closer to breaking the 1,000mph barrier.
“Ultimately, though, it’s all about the students, so here are some of their thoughts on the day:
“I enjoyed designing the car and flag (which we later took off for the launching and used it to cheer on our car!). We all signed it in purple pen and went outside to give it to Miss Lovejoy who is part of BLOODHOUND herself!” Rachel
“I really enjoyed learning all the interesting facts about all the people involved in the Project and where they are taking the Car to see if they can reach 1,000mph. Our cars went very fast and I really enjoyed my afternoon and had a fun time.” Matilda
“I learnt that BLOODHOUND has a Eurofighter jet engine in it, along with a Jaguar V8 engine and a rocket! I learnt a lot about aerodynamics and I very much enjoy engineering, so I loved this experience. A big thank you to Miss Lovejoy for making this experience.” Matthew
“Our car was called Galaxy and we hacksawed it and sandpapered it. My favourite bit was when we let the rocket car off, it was really loud! It was soooo much fun.” Isabella
“My car was called Flash Uni 1 and we accidently carved it upside down. We came third though and it was an epic day!” Heidi
“We made a rocket powered car in school today and called it Pink Kitten. We came last, but we had fun blasting it down the track. We learnt that the real BLOODHOUND has 135,000 horsepower; I was blown away!” Toby
“I really enjoyed making the car and watching all the cars fired down the track. The flames flying out of the back were really cool and impressive. I was surprised at how fast and far our car went.” Lily