BLOODHOUND may have same effect on STEM as Apollo 11

8 Jul 2010

An ambitious project to attain a landspeed record of 1,000mph may inspire the same level of interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as did Apollo 11 when it helped put a man on the moon.

That’s according to Jim Wynn, chief education officer of Promethean, which has become the official interactive education technology partner to the BLOODHOUND Super Sonic Car (SSC) project.

BLOODHOUND is an iconic engineering project to design and build the first supersonic car capable of achieving 1,000mph and smash the World Land Speed Record. The three-year project is led by Richard Noble OBE and Wing Commander Andy Green OBE who set the current record of 763mph (1228kmh) in October 1997.

Engineering adventure for the 21st century

The BLOODHOUND Project is the engineering adventure for the 21st century, designed to inspire young engineers and scientists by developing a supersonic car capable of achieving 1,000mph and setting a historic new World Land Speed Record.

Bloodhound team members have held the World Land Speed Record for the past 26 years but aims to become the first in the world to attain a land speed of 1,000mph in 2012. Achieving this feat will involve a 31pc increase in speed on the current world record of 763mph, achieved in 1997 with the first land vehicle (ThrustSSC) to break the Sound Barrier – driven by Andy Green OBE.

Promethean will work with the BLOODHOUND SSC team to support its international education programme and engage young people in the science that underpins this challenge.

Supported by an array of global technology companies and universities, a key objective for BLOODHOUND is to inspire young people to pursue science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

A remarkable feature of this project is that it will provide open access to its science and engineering research data and design iterations involved in the development of the BLOODHOUND SSC.

Ultimately, this will be the catalyst for a raft of cutting-edge research in fields such as aerodynamics, materials technology, composite manufacturing and sustainable high-tech engineering.

“In the 1960s, the goal of putting a man on the moon inspired an entire generation to take interest in STEM. We hope BLOODHOUND will have the same ‘Apollo Effect’ for this generation,” says Wynn.

Teachers, students and anyone with an interest will be able to keep up-to-date with the project and access a wealth of new curriculum-based interactive STEM educational resources on

Promethean will be installing its ActivClassroom technology in BLOODHOUND’s forthcoming education centres, creating the ‘classroom of the future’ and will be equipping BLOODHOUND’s education ambassadors with relevant software and resources for use in schools.

“It is a privilege to be involved in this iconic project,” Wynn continued. “As the world’s commercial, environmental and energy challenges become ever more pressing, the need to develop real scientific talent in the next generation has never been more apparent.

“Through our education programmes and materials, we want to reach out to young students worldwide and encourage them to take up education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

More than 3,500 primary and secondary schools, 200 further education colleges and 40 higher education institutions are already signed up to the programme and are using BLOODHOUND resources to enthuse young people in STEM subjects.

Richard Noble OBE, BLOODHOUND project director and former World Land Speed Record holder, confirmed: “There is a natural affinity between Promethean and BLOODHOUND’s goals of pushing the boundaries of human achievement through inspiring STEM education.

“We are therefore delighted to have Promethean join our growing portfolio of partners and sponsors, and look forward to the expertise they can lend in bringing educational resources to life through classroom technologies that have a real resonance with teachers and young people,” Noble said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years