Supersonic half term!

College students from all over the South West spent their half-term exploring the technology behind the 1,000 mph rocket car, Bloodhound, as part of an engineering workshop run by the University of Bath.

The youngsters, aged 16-18, also helped to build a 3D printer during the three-day workshop held at the newly opened Bloodhound Education Centre in Bristol.

The workshop began though with a visit to the birthplace of a pioneering 3D printer known as “RepRap”, in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bath’s Claverton campus. 

The students were invited to look around the facilities at Bath to see how the technology behind the Bloodhound car works. They then attended a lecture about the technical aspects of drag on a racing car, from Dr Aiden Nassehi, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Later, at the Bloodhound Education Centre in Bristol, they were asked to build a 3D printer with no frame of reference other than online manuals and images of the completed machines. The students demonstrated impressive practical, leadership and communication skills.

The course was funded by the Division for Lifelong Learning’s Widening Participation team and was aimed at widening participation and encouraging applicants from under-represented groups.

Gemma Palmer, Learning Partnerships Participation Officer, said: "By the end of the three days the students had not only completed the 3D printer build, but also made time to design and print 3D components onto the impressive machines resident in the Bloodhound Centre. This was remarkable considering Bits from Bytes, the company who supply the 3D printer kits, recommend a build-time of around three days, for adults.

“The course aims to inspire the next generation to embark upon careers in engineering and technology.”

For more information about other workshops offered by the University of Bath visit www.bath.ac.uk/lifelong-learning/heworkshops

 

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