There’s something at Scifest Africa for everyone, even the petrolhead.
During the week, The Settlers Monument Art Gallery played host to the Jaguar Primary School Challenge, a worldwide non-profit initiative in association with the Bloodhound Education Programme and the Department of Science and Technology, with the aim to teach schoolchildren engineering processes by designing and a building a racecar.
“The initiative started back in 2015 and now works with schools in four provinces,” said Chris Maxwell, the programme coordinator. “The idea is give kids an idea of engineering and design skills, as well as the careers in those fields.”
Working in teams of four, students are each assigned a role in designing and building a model car out of cardboard, paper and plastic, with the finished model to be fitted with a small electric motor.
“Next week we will be in Port Elizabeth with our 25-meter racetrack,” Maxwell explained. “Kids will be able to race their cars and win some prizes.”
At the end of the workshop, students were treated to a computer-generated simulation of the Bloodhound SSC, a rocket-propelled vehicle that is expected to break the land speed record at in mid-2018, with the final run taking place at the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape. The record currently stands at 1220 km/h, as previously set by the Thrust SSC rocket car back in 1997.
By Sam Spiller