The supersonic car which is aiming to break the world land speed record proved a huge hit during its week-long stay at Telford College of Arts and Technology.

More than 700 students from a host of schools and colleges were involved in the Bloodhound project, an interactive touring roadshow country promoting the value of careers in engineering.

Bloodhound is planning to become the first car to smash through the 1,000mph barrier, and is due to begin its first test runs in the south of England this summer.

As well as getting to see the vehicle itself, TCAT students also built and raced their own miniature rocket-powered cars under the watchful eye of Bloodhound engineers.

It was all part of a busy week of activities, centred around the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

The highlight of the week was a visit from Bloodhound project director Richard Noble, who held the world land speed record from 1983 to 1997.

He told a gathering of students and businesses: “We are in a fascinating time in life, as the procedure to sign us out of the EU begins, and our country has to change, big time.

“We hardly manufacture in our country at all now. Our manufacturing is just about 8% of gross domestic product, whereas it should be 20% or 25%.

“This represents a fantastic opportunity for the next generation, because Britain is going to be on its own, and we’ve got to show the world what we can really do.”

The TCAT Bloodhound week attracted interest from the TV, radio and print media, and the college organising team said it was a huge success.

TCAT principal Ian Clinton said: “The Bloodhound team laid on a fantastic week of educational activities – both for our own students, and those from other local schools too.

“We held morning workshops for up to 400 students from TCAT’s feeder schools, giving them the chance to hear about the car, and learn from the Bloodhound team.

“And around 300 of our own TCAT engineering and technology students worked with the engineers on the Bloodhound Model Rocket Car Challenge, where they built and raced rocket-powered cars.”

Local schools which got involved in the project included Burton Borough in Newport, Charlton and Ercall Wood in Wellington, and Holy Trinity Academy at Priorslee.

TCAT also hosted well-attended fact-finding events for businesses, and parents.

The Bloodhound car is the product of eight years of research, design and manufacturing, involving over 350 companies and universities.

At full speed, the supersonic car will cover a mile in 3.6 seconds – that’s the equivalent of 4.5 football pitches laid end-to-end, every second.

Mr Clinton said: “We were delighted to be able to give students from across the Telford & Wrekin area the chance to experience this cutting-edge technology, and to learn from the best in the business.

“The Bloodhound ambassadors are playing a key role in helping young people to make positive career choices by giving real-life context to their STEM studies.”

You can find out more about TCAT’s range of courses at a Specialist Open Event on April 26, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. For more details, see www.tcat.ac.uk

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