Buttershaw Enterprise and Business College (BBEC) approached Thorite, having seen their involvement with Lower Fields Primary School in the Summer 2011.
BBEC had conducted a project through the week with 90 children of ages 11 – 17. The project was “Mission to Mars”. Through the week the children were studying and working on the details of creating a mission from Earth to Mars. This includes looking into the planning of how to make this happen at ground level, actually transporting to Mars and finally how to live on Mars.
Thorite was asked to help with the “how to transport to Mars” aspect and provide a small engineering project to direct the young students to produce rockets, which would be fired later in the day. At the same time, they were requested to provide a brief overview of the history of Thorite.
They provided an hour’s presentation to demonstrate how science and engineering working together, to often produce the spectacular. They covered Thorite’s origins in Bradford, its involvement in industry over the last 160 years, how it operates today and a sample of the bizarre and interesting projects they have been involved with. Finally, they covered the various details of rocket building they would need to consider before building their own and quickly did a practical demonstration of rocket building.
The children had 4 hours to research ideas and built their own rockets. Later that day and in terrible weather conditions, 30 rockets were sent skywards, all competing for the best distance. Each group was permitted to set their own launch angle and one member triggered the launch pad. The quality of the rocket build was exceptional with pupils exceeding Thorite’s own V1 rocket.