Children, young people, business leaders and local people got a taste of engineering excellence as the Bloodhound SSC Roadshow visited Bicester.
The nine-day event at Banbury and Bicester College invited visitors to take part in a range of activities based around a full-sized model of the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car.
This high-technology UK project is setting out to design and build a car that will break the 1,000mph barrier, faster than a speeding bullet.
Around 750 pupils from local schools including The Cooper School, Fritwell School, Launton Primary and Beachborough School visited the Bicester campus to see the full-sized model and take part in hands-on activities designed to inspire the next generation of UK engineers, mathematicians and scientists.
Kathleen Tablanda, 14, a pupil at Bicester Community College, said: “It was really fun and fascinating. I'd not considered a career in engineering before, but I have found it really interesting, especially when we got to build a car.
“I think an event like this would definitely inspire girls to consider a career in engineering.”
Fellow Community College pupil, Katie Key, 13, added: “I liked learning about how Bloodhound will get to 1,000mph and all the science that goes into that. It was far more hands-on than I was expecting.”
Banbury and Bicester College also hosted a business networking event, for the local business community to see the Bloodhound model, view a presentation and have a Q&A session with the Bloodhound team.
Marc Lonergan, Genovation Architect, who attended the business event said: “It’s colleges like Banbury and Bicester College that really make a difference. What great staff and an inspiring place.”
The technology roadshow finished with an open day style event for the local community, with more than 200 people visiting Telford Road, to see Bloodhound SSC and view the motorsports and engineering facilities at Bicester campus.
Rose Turner, principal of Banbury and Bicester College, said: “We were thrilled to have the Bloodhound Roadshow in Bicester and to be able to work with local schools to offer so many young people access to this feat of science and engineering.
“Our Bicester campus is home to our motorsport and engineering programmes and so the visit is also enriching the learning experience of our own students. We hope that the visit will inspire more young people into careers in science and engineering.”
Kirsty Allpress, education programme manager at Bloodhound, said: “There is a shortage of scientists, engineers and mathematicians in the UK and we therefore urgently need our young people to be motivated to enjoy and study science, technology, engineering and maths subjects at school and then at university.
“The Bloodhound Project is endeavoring to be the catalyst through which young people will acquire the skills and develop innovative talents that will enable them to overcome the challenges we face on a global scale.”