A 1,000mph rocket car project used to teach children about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has received government approval and a £1m grant.
The Bloodhound SSC project, touted as an ‘open source' high technology programme, involves 5,340 UK primary and secondary schools and colleges. David Willetts, minister for universities and science opened the project's new base in Avonmouth, saying the project represented British science and technology at its best.
"The project's success will not only be measured in miles per hour, but also in how it inspires future generations," he said. "This new investment will help show even more young people how rewarding science and engineering careers can be."
The £1m funding was granted by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and will be used to expand the project's educational team, including 500 ambassadors to engage more children in STEM subjects.
The current world land speed record of 763mph is currently held by another car under the supervision of Bloodhound project director, Richard Noble OBE. The new Bloodhound machine is expected to top 1,000mph at the hands of driver Andy Green.
The National Foundation for Educational Research spent three years evaluating the Bloodhound project for educational worth, and found it had a positive effect, including a greater level of engagement with engineering subjects in the UK:
"The Bloodhound education team's work makes engineering accessible and relevant to young people's lives and gives a real example of an engineering project in the UK," its report said.
In March, the government was warned of severe STEM skills shortage, with an expected shortfall of 40,000 graduates each year.
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