Park High's Design and Technology department was delighted to be selected to represent “Race for the Line”, the largest immersive STEM competition in the UK; to a delegation of teachers, students and industry professionals from China.The competition is run by The Learning Partnership and its engineering partner Bloodhound SSC, the car that is set to break the land speed record later this year by achieving speeds over 1,000 mph.
The visit was organised by Trumptech, one of the leading education organisations in Hong Kong, as part of their launch of the "Race for the Line" in Hong Kong and China. Park High was chosen to host the Chinese visit due to the school’s long history and engagement in this prestigious project.
The 70 Chinese delegates arrived at Park High School 10am Tuesday 23rd January, to see how Race for the Line model rocket car competition is run in schools and to showcase how Park High is at the forefront of innovation in STEM Education, teaching and learning.
The day started with a warm welcome from our Head teacher Mr Lumley; followed by a presentation from Aulden Dunipace Founder & CEO of the Learning Partnership. Aulden was keen to share the importance of inspiring our young students and getting them involved in events like Race for the Line. The Learning Partnership hopes STEM programmes like this will build relationships with schools and get teachers and students excited and engaged and inspire future generations to pursue careers in engineering as this vital sector of industry is in desperate need of talented people.
Ms Attfield, Head of the Design and Technology department, told our visitors about our longstanding involvement in the project and how Park High started our involvement in Season 1 of the competition back in 2014 as an extra-curricular club. The students were very excited about the project and the chance to race their model rocket cars at Santa Pod Raceway. They were amazed to set a record with their double rocket entry hitting 163.68mph (which sadly Park High no longer holds). In the second season, Ms Attfield was able to motivate other schools to be involved in our hub. She explained how the project had grown to become part of the curriculum here and noted that the competition had changed and become more challenging as the students had more guidelines and restrictions which helped to focus their planning and team work skills, and helped develop their understanding of key engineering principles such as friction and aerodynamics. Our visitors also saw examples of our success in Season 2 where one of our teams won the Regional Heat at RAF Halton and were so proud to go through to the National Final.
Following the presentations our visitors were lucky enough to talk to 2 of the students (now in sixth form) who were part of Park High’s record breaking team from Season 1 and some of our Year 7s currently involved in Season 3 to learn more about how being involved in this competition enriches their learning.
After break Aulden Dunipace and Jas Thandi, Head of Competitions and Training at TLP, set up the race track so that our visitors from China were able to experience a live race event on the school playground. The time was recorded by the Microbit chip inside each of the cars with the fastest travelling at over 54 mph.
This year over 70,000 Year 7 students are designing, building and racing model rocket cars across the UK. The initiative is made free to schools by the extraordinary support of the RAF, Army and Navy who help fund the rocket car kits and also supply a network of rocketeers who come to schools to run race events.
Park High School, Thistlecroft Gardens, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 1PL
Mr Emlyn Lumley
0208 952 2803