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Bloodhound Rocket Car Competition Won By Tain Team

21st June 2017

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Photograph of Bloodhound Rocket Car Competition Won By Tain Team

A team of students has won the Scottish Championship in the Bloodhound Rocket Car Competition after qualifying in a heat held at North Highland College UHI, Thurso.

The team of four girls, from Tain Royal Academy, set the fastest speed out of 32 teams from across the country at the Scottish Finals held at Perth College UHI.  Molly Mackay, Mollie Lauritsen, Orla Young and Aimee Milne, were one of only two all-girl teams competing.  They had spent the semester improving their understanding of engineering as it applies to automotive aerodynamics and power, and designing their car, under the guidance of their teachers, Iain Carlton and Tanya Marshall, and with support from engineering curriculum leader, Peter Hylton, at North Highland College UHI.

Orla Young said, "It was a great experience. We loved getting to compete alongside schools from all over Scotland and see how differently they work. Throughout the competition we were challenged in many ways and we are really pleased to have won."

The girls' teacher, Ms Marshall, said, "The girls had a great day and were full of interesting ideas on how to make their design extra special. They worked extremely well as a team on the day and are thoroughly delighted at getting the fastest time. We are very proud of them!"

Thurso High School, Wick High School, Farr High School, Tain Royal Academy, Golspie High School, Dornoch Academy, Stronsay Junior High School and Sanday High School, involving over 170 students, participated in the experiential learning activity.  North Highland College UHI staff shared pertinent engineering concepts that helped students design their cars, and college staff conducted competitions at Thurso and on Sanday, Orkney.  Three other teams qualified for the Scottish Finals including students Chloe Mackay, Katie Munro, Catriona Scott, and Alanna Shaw also from Tain Royal Academy and Liam Morrison, Martin Taylor, Carmen Heddle, Thomas Wright, Tracy Mackay, Mary-Ann Chesters, Alix Cumming, and Hugh Cowie from Thurso High School.

Speaking after the event Peter Hylton said, "I feel that this project has been great for exposing high school students to some of the exciting challenges of an engineering career.  The fact that the Scottish Championship was won by an all girls' team from the far north should emphasise that engineering can be for anyone.  I hope this inspires even more students to consider engineering studies."

The Bloodhound Education project is conducted in conjunction with the team constructing the Bloodhound car to attempt a new World Land Speed Record. The event is supported by The Big Bang Fair Scotland, Energy Skills Partnership and the Army. 

The winning team won £1000 for their school, trophies for the team members, and a chance to attend the only UK test of the full-scale Bloodhound car. 

Next year the Engineering department at North Highland College UHI plan to build on the Bloodhound success by expanding to compete in the nationwide Greenpower Car competition - in partnership with the Dounreay STEM Ambassador program and the Energy Skills Partnership.

See the photo gallery link above to see other finalist teams.

Winning team (with their teacher Ms Tanya Marshall
Photogragher - Pete Hylton, Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Leader, North Highland College UHI

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