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The students will race their dragster across a 10 metre course
The students will race their dragster across a 10 metre course
The pupils will study friction, mass and acceleration, to design their dragster
The pupils will study friction, mass and acceleration, to design their dragster

Press Release - 16 June 2008

Local school pupils to design and race dragster

Pupils in Bath and Wiltshire have been invited to a free, mechanical engineering summer school designed to give them practical engineering experience. The event will be held at the University of Bath from 24-26 June.

The challenging but fun event is aimed at gifted and talented pupils of outstanding potential in maths, physics or design technology. Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly welcome.

This year, a total of 15 Year-12 pupils will be attending, including school children from: Beechen Cliff School in Bath; Hardenhuish School in Chippenham; and St Augustine’s Catholic College and John of Gaunt School, both in Trowbridge.

The event has been organised by the University’s Outreach team in partnership with its Department of Mechanical Engineering. It provides new opportunities not generally available within schools, due to curricula or resource limitations.

The summer school will offer pupils, in teams, the chance to study topics such as friction, mass and acceleration, as they design, build and race a spring-propelled dragster. The teams will then compete against the clock over a 10 metre course to win the race.

The pupils will be offered design pointers and a starter kit of an axle assembly, a standard extension spring and a fishing line. Previous suggestions for materials to construct the machine’s body and wheels have included lego, CDs, cans, jam jar lids and balloons.

“The competition is designed to give school pupils a chance to take on a manageable design project and get some practical engineering experience,” said Dr Jos Darling, a senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University.

“It helps illustrate that engineering can be both challenging and fun and demonstrates that Maths and Physics are useful tools that explain how the world works.”

“We are delighted that we are able to offer the use of the University’s excellent facilities once more at our fun summer school for local school pupils,” said Steph Gan, Widening Participation Officer in the University’s Outreach Team.

The University of Bath’s Outreach Programme’s aim is to promote higher education and to provide opportunities to everyone who can benefit from it.

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