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The Inter-Schools Dragster Competition Dr Jos Darling Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath.

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Presentation on theme: "The Inter-Schools Dragster Competition Dr Jos Darling Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Inter-Schools Dragster Competition Dr Jos Darling Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath

2 Objectives A design and build competition suitable for GCSE level school pupils to illustrate the following –Mass –Energy –Friction –Acceleration –Practical design and manufacture –Experimentation

3 The Competition To design and build a spring propelled dragster to travel as quickly as possible down a 10m track using a standard coil extension spring Competition was based on an undergraduate project run at Bath for the last ten years. The idea was originally developed as part of an Open University Summer School

4 The Kit of Parts Teams issued with a standard kit of parts which included the following –Standard extension coil spring –Back axle assembly –Fishing line Teams design and build their own chassis, back wheels and front axle

5 The kit of parts

6 Additional parts Dragster body Balsa wood, Lego, carbon fibre fishing rod Driven Wheels CDs, jam jar lids, Coke can bases, card, balsa Freewheeling wheels Lego, Smarties tops, card, balsa, model aircraft Tyres Rubber bands, glass paper, condoms, rubber balloons

7 Competition Rules Only power source is standard spring extended by 100mm No catapults Timing from light beam at start and finish Track on Lino floor with plastic covered washing line resting on floor to act as guide

8 Typical Designs Rear Wheel drive Mass approximately 50 gramme

9 The competition Four local state schools involved Nine teams of six students competed in event Mixed sex teams where possible Used as teaching aide in pre-GSCE Design and Technology Students stayed after school in order to complete designs

10 Timing and Organisation Held during Science Week Six undergraduate helpers Non-threatening university environment Local press and web publicity

11 The event

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14 Results Seven teams successfully completed course Best time for 10m of 2.4 seconds 50 students participated Prizes –Easter Eggs –Certificates –Book Tokens for Schools

15 Prize winners

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17 Funding £1000 pounds provided by Balance Project (thanks) Funding for –Kits –Administration –Travel for Schools –Pocket money for undergrad helpers –Prizes

18 Feedback and the Future Feedback from Schools very positive and complements from public following newspaper publicity To be repeated with increased number of schools through University Widening Access activities

19 Conclusions A practical design and build competition suitable for pre-GCSE school pupils Team work and practical engineering Non-threatening university environment


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