Every Year 7 student at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy this year has investigated, designed and manufactured the fastest rocket-powered race car during their Design Engineering lessons. The cars were entered for ‘Race for the Line’, a national competition where students from over 200 schools compete across multiple stages in the in a bid to claim the prestigious top spot and aim to beat last years’ winning speed of 66mph.
The students have worked in teams of four throughout the project, learning valuable communication skills and developing effective teamwork skills, demonstrating creativity and problem-solving to ensure that their rocket car has the most efficient aerodynamics, low mass and safe, well-designed wheels to reduce friction and survive the forces of a high-speed run. They have demonstrated determination and a passion to succeed, competing against peers in their own classroom as well as from many other schools and they have all certainly taken risks – their designs had to be perfected as each team only had one foam block to shape into their rocket car – any mistakes would be very costly!
Recently 16 teams gathered at DACA to see their cars in action; working alongside the academy’s RAF STEM Ambassador, Sgt Antony Davenport, the rockets were inserted into the cars, hooked up to the ignition gun and fired down the track.
The winners, with flying speed of 60mph, was ‘Team Dragonfly’ – an inspirational all-girl team. ‘Tem Skrt Skrt’, an all-boy team of four, came in at a respectable second.
Both teams qualified for the Regional Final at Bury Transport Museum on Tuesday 30th April, where they competed with teams from other schools in the region. ‘Team Dragonfly’ ramped up the speed to beat last year’s winners but were beaten by an incredible 90 mph performance!