UK schoolkids to build and race rocket-powered cars

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The model cars will be powered by small solid fuel rocket motors

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A new competition is combining two projects that are already capturing the imaginations of kids across the UK. Race for the Line challenges schoolchildren to emulate the Bloodhound team by developing and racing their own rocket-powered cars, using the new BBC micro:bit to capture performance data.

All schools in the UK have been invited to participate the "Race for the Line" BBC micro:bit Model Rocket Car Competition. It is being run by the education arm of the Bloodhound project – which is attempting to achieve a 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) world land speed record – in partnership with Microsoft, the British Army and Buckingham Palace, among other organizations.

The contest is aimed at pupils between the ages of 11 to 16 and will see participants sculpt model cars out of foam that will be powered by small solid fuel rocket motors. Using a BBC micro:bit computer, real-time data including vehicle speed will be captured, which will allow students to modify their designs and see how fast they can make them go.

Teams will build and test their model cars before pitting them against each other at special "rocket car race days" to be held between April 19th and June 30th at their schools. The fastest cars from each school will then compete in a national competition on June 30th, or on June 9th in Scotland.

The top three fastest teams will win a cash prizes for their schools, with the overall winning team winning a trip to see the Bloodhound team launch a real rocket.

The "Race for the Line" BBC micro:bit Model Rocket Car Competition launched today.

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