Year 12s get their hands on Bloodhound SSC at UWE

Issue date: 30 June 2011

Around 40 Year 12 students from across the UK will be among the first UK teenagers to see close up the latest developments on the groundbreaking Bloodhound SSC project in Bristol.

Bloodhound SSC is a UK-led internationally renowned engineering initiative which aims to achieve 1000mph land speed record. The current land speed record, held by a British team, is 763mph.

The students will be taking part in an exciting engineering-based Bloodhound SSC summer school at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, organised in partnership with Headstart which is part of the education charity, EDT. Headstart is a well-established education programme for Year 12/S5 students designed to encourage the take up of courses and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The summer school aims to provide a project-based learning experience based on the Bloodhound SSC project. Working in teams, with support from academic and technical staff as well as current engineering undergraduates, the students will be challenged to design, build and race a scale model of their own high speed vehicle.

The residential summer school which takes place at UWE from Sunday 3 July to Thursday 7 July 2011 includes a visit to Bloodhound's base situated next to the SS Great Britain in Bristol's historic waterfront area. The students will talk to a Bloodhound engineer about the physics and engineering challenges of building a high speed vehicle. Students will be challenged to think about materials selection, pressure, drag, thrust and aerodynamics when building their own vehicle. The visit will also include a tour of Bloodhound's facilities and the opportunity to see some of the component parts of the real car which is currently being built.

Headstart Director, Estelle Rowe, said: “I think 17 year olds are under a lot of pressure to do well in their exams and to make important decisions about their future. They have to choose a degree subject and which universities to apply to with limited information and experience. Headstart courses give them the chance to try out being at university and they do this just before going back and making their degree choices. We are delighted that UWE has joined the group of prestigious universities that run Headstart.”

Sarah Stewart, Marketing Manager from the University of the West of England added: “As a university which prides itself on the strengths of its partnerships, we are delighted to be able to offer a Headstart summer school this year. Our relationship with Bloodhound, including access to their facilities and design data, will form the basis for a really exciting summer school for students. We consistently work with a wide range of public, private and voluntary partners to actively demonstrate the stimulating fields of engineering and technology that are available to both study and work in.”

After attending a Headstart course in 2010, 94% of students that participated said they expected to go on to study a STEM based subject at university. It is hoped that this year's students will have an equally inspiring experience.


Notes to editors

Contact following for more details;

Headstart is a well-established education programme whose aim is to encourage students interested in mathematics or science to consider technology-based careers. It provides an opportunity for those in Year 12/S5 to spend up to a week at university prior to making their UCAS application. There are 1600 places available on these courses this year that take place at approximately 40 universities all over the UK. For more info please see

For more details contact Kat Bridge, Headstart Coordinator, Headstart, 01707 871 505,

Bloodhound SSC

BLOODHOUND SSC (super sonic car) will be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green who set the current record of 763mph (1228kmh) at the controls of ThrustSSC on 15 October 1997. The record attempt is anticipated to take place in 2013 at Haksteen Pan, South Africa. If the new vehicle achieves its target of 1,000mph (Mach 1.4) it will mark the greatest incremental increase in the history of the World Land Speed Record; it will also exceed the low altitude speed record for aircraft (c.994mph).

Building a car quicker than a fighter jet is not, however, the primary goal of the project. Rather, it is to inspire future generations to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by showcasing these subjects in the most exciting way possible. For more information see the Bloodhound SSC website

University of the West of England (UWE)

As a university which believes in the power of partnerships, UWE is a founder sponsor of Bloodhound SSC. Working together with the Bloodhound team and its other partner organisations, UWE has delivered a number of public events, workshops and activities for young people in support of the key objective of the Bloodhound project – to help inspire the next generation of UK engineers through this exciting and iconic adventure. The Bloodhound Summer School, delivered in partnership with Headstart, is yet another example of UWE's commitment to the engineering profession. For more information see UWE website


Bristol UWE Press Office - 0117 32 82208

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