ROYAL Wootton Bassett Academy students pitted their wits against a car that broke the land speed record by designing and racing their own prototypes.

Around 230 Year 7s tried their hand at cutting-edge engineering technology with help from the Bloodhound Education charity and a donation from the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District.

The presentations and interactive workshops helped them become budding engineers.

The academy's DT teacher and Key Stage 4 co-ordinator Sarah Day said: “Our pupils had an amazing two days seeing design and technology in action and learning how engineers are making it possible to break land speed world records.

"It was really exciting for them to put design and technology in a real-world scenario and see where they can go in the future.”

Mrs Day said that because of the pandemic restrictions, year groups have not been able to experience workshops or take part in design and manufacture sessions anywhere near as much as they normally would.

She added: “Year 7 in particular have had to miss out on several practical sessions, including their induction days to the school, and their camps and visits that they would have done in their final year of primary school.

"So, as well as providing a great learning opportunity, these days allowed them to benefit from developing problem-solving and team-working skills that they may have missed so far. “

“We wouldn’t have been able to provide this workshop without the support of the rotary club and we are very grateful for their contribution."

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is an example of British engineering and innovation which helps push boundaries and demonstrate pioneering new technologies which require engineers to think in new ways.

The Bloodhound team hopes these new ways of thinking inspire young people in innovative sessions like the workshop which develop their skills in design and technology, as well as other STEM subjects. They aim to encourage students to pursue careers in engineering once they leave the classroom.