The Rocket Car project continues to provide a memorable learning experience for our Stage 4 students in the areas of design, engineering and material technologies.
The aim of the project was to produce a compressed gas-propelled car able to accelerate from 0 to speeds close to or above 100km/h. The car had to be modelled out of one block of 2x4 timber, and the focus of the project was on achieving fine engineering, clever aerodynamics and minimising vehicle mass to facilitate maximum acceleration.
The cars compete in a drag-racing format across the COLA in a set-up that has the cars tethered to a strong nylon fishing line to prevent mishaps and ensure everyone’s safety.
This is what some of the students had to say about this project:
"I enjoyed seeing the minor changes that made the big differences in the cars."
"I enjoyed racing my rocket car and seeing my work pay off."
"I enjoyed the building process of the car."
"I enjoyed the fact that you have to build a car from a block of wood."
"I learnt how to use the pedestal drill. I also got much more comfortable using the coping saw and files."
"I learnt how to create a design using Adobe Illustrator and physically build an aerodynamic car."
"I have learnt how to carve wood to get the best shape."
The group of students who completed the project in Semester 1 produced, as a whole, unprecedented results, not in small measure thanks to the very productive balance they achieved between cooperating generously with each other and competing to outdo each other’s designs.
The diversity of clever vehicle designs this group was able to assemble for the time trials was fabulous. The result of the boys’ dedication to their work was impressive, with most of the cars finishing the race in under two seconds, and one rocket car even becoming airborne, much to the delight of all the race spectators.