Over 80 pupils and staff from three local primary schools came to Downside on Friday for an exhilarating ‘Race for the Line’ experience.

This exciting STEM event – to design and make the fastest rocket-powered car – is run by the School twice a year in conjunction with Science Scope and Race for the Line. Our visitors, from Shoscombe Primary School, Bath, St Julian’s C of E Primary School, Wellow, and St Cuthberts C of E Junior School, Wells, arrived bright and early to a warm Downside welcome.

The first order of the day was to get into teams and design and build the cars, which are crafted from foam blocks drilled with axle holes. Challenges for the teams included shaping the foam blocks into aerodynamic and lightweight shapes, creating efficient, safe and strong wheels and axles, and carrying out tests to evaluate, refine and improve their car designs.

After lunch it was race time! On the steps of the School Pavilion the cars were attached to a wire and fuelled down it by rocket power, reaching speeds of up to 67.8 mph, and travelling through speed gates that recorded their times.

Winning teams from all three schools received a trophy, with overall winners of the event being the ‘Rad Racers’ from Shoscombe who commented that “the best bit of the day was making the cars”.

Even the visiting teachers got involved, with the award for ‘Best Looking Car’ going to the ‘Wonderbirds’ team from St Julian’s.

Click below to see one of the cars in action.