An engineering adventure comes to Chesterfield College


A replica of Bloodhound, the British built and designed 1000 Mph jet and rocket powered car that will attempt the land speed record next year, has been at Chesterfield College for two days to inspire the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians.

120 pupils from schools across Derbyshire and more than 200 students from college were amongst some of the 100,000 young people in the UK who get the chance to see a replica of the car and find out how the best of the best in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) world have created this feat of engineering.

The young engineers also built their own jet powered car, took part in special science workshops and found out more from key employers in the region like Rolls Royce, about the careers they could have if they studied STEM subjects. 

students building rocket powered carsIn the East Midlands, between 2010 and 2020 more than two thirds of jobs will need engineering skills.  That is 158,400 jobs that will need qualified engineers1. However, over the last 7 years there has been a decline of 20.8% of students choosing STEM subjects2. Almost two in five firms (39%) that require STEM-skilled employees report current difficulties in recruitment.

Stuart Cutforth, Principal of Chesterfield College said:

“Having such a high profile and exciting project in college is a fantastic opportunity to excite young people about where studying STEM subjects can lead. We know that STEM related jobs are on the increase but the number of students choosing to study the subjects that will get them the right qualifications to get these jobs has been in decline for some time now.  As a college working in an area that is home to a host of key employers we know how important it is to inspire the next generation.”

There was also an opportunity for businesses and engineers to meet the Bloodhound team and see the vehicle at two special evening events being hosted at the college. One was part of the Made in Chesterfield events organised by Destination Chesterfield and the other an Institute of Mechanical Engineers lecture in honour of Peter Harrison, who was a very successful Mechanical Engineer from Hasland in Chesterfield who was passionate about promoting engineering to the next generation.

Take a look at the STEM courses on offer at Chesterfield College here.