Land speed record holder Richard Noble inspires STEM learning among GEMS students

  • Richard Noble launches Model Rocket Car Competition in the UAE
  • GEMS Metropole to be first ‘hub school’ to host the inter-school races

In a bid to throw a spotlight on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, GEMS Metropole School hosted Richard Noble – challenger, entrepreneur, record-breaker and motivational speaker – who launched a Model Rocket Car competition in the UAE to encourage students to engage in creativity, innovation and STEM learning.

Noble introduced the Bloodhound SSC Project, which is a global engineering adventure, using a 1000mph world land speed record attempt to inspire the next generation to enjoy, explore and get involved in science and engineering.

The Bloodhound SSC “Race for the Line” Model Rocket Car Competition – to take place in September 2017 – is open for up to 30 schools in the UAE, for year seven students to design, develop, build and race model rocket cars while providing an enhanced STEM learning experience. GEMS Metropole will be the first “hub school” to host the inter-school races in Motor City.

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable chip with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology, which was given free to every child in year seven or equivalent in the UK.

Anthony Cashin, Principal, GEMS Metropole School, said: “We were delighted to host an inspiring personality like Richard Noble at our school. Bringing a global project like the Bloodhound SSC into a classroom will provide the perfect platform to engage our students with STEM subjects. His contributions to the engineering and technology sectors are easily adapted within classrooms, which is what made him so endearing to our students.”

The event has been developed by two UK-based education-focused companies who strive to bring enhanced teaching and learning experiences around the world – Technology Supplies, specialists in design, technology and engineering, and Timstar, a leading supplier of high-quality science equipment, consumables, resources and services to schools.

The winning prizes will be as follows:

  • 1st place – AED 5,000 and 30 Micro:bits awarded to the school
  • 2nd place – AED 2,500 and 20 Micro:bits awarded to the school
  • 3rd place – AED 1,000 and 10 Micro:bits awarded to the school

Qualifying teams at the National finals: All schools with qualifying teams will be awarded the right to have their school name printed on the tail-fin of the Bloodhound SSC car.

Each team will build one rocket car for entry into the school race day competition. To find out how fast their cars go, pupils will have to program a BBC micro:bit device to capture real-time data from the vehicles and download it using a Microsoft Office add-on, Bluetooth or Bitty Data Logger. Using this data, the students will tweak their designs to make their car go as fast as possible.

Each team can programme its BBC micro:bit, using www.codethemicrobit.com – to measure and capture the acceleration of the Rocket Car and insert it into its rocket car.