St Swithun’s pupil designs key to supersonic car

Year 10 pupil wins British Army competition to design a key for car to break land speed record

Amy Dennison, a Year 10 pupil from St Swithun’s School, was recently announced as the winner of a British Army led competition to design the key for the Bloodhound SSC project.

The project is aimed at designing a supersonic car that will break the current land speed record, set by Andy Green back in 1997. Amy got involved with the scheme after seeing the competition in the First News newspaper for young people. She was officially crowned the competition winner just before Christmas

Amy said: “It was a bit of a shock, I didn’t expect to win at all. I thought there’d be so many entries I didn’t think it would even happen. I started jumping around the living room in shock.”

Explaining her winning key design, Amy, who is a member of Greenpower club at the school, said: “I really wanted it to be a nice smooth shape with a place where it was easy to hold, so I created the thumb-hole. In the desert racing the car is going to be hot, so it’s going to help to grip on to it. There are all kinds of things you have to fit in with the design of the actual car itself, and how it’s going to fit in when it’s being used.”

The competition was organised by the British Army’s team of REME engineers, working on the Bloodhound project, as part of their campaign to engage with the engineers of the future. Corporal Liz Brown, an Armourer in the REME and the Key Project Lead, created a metal 3D key from Amy’s design. She said: “The quality of designs that came through from children was really high. We were looking for a key design that would be easy to switch the car on and off with, yet have an eye-catching look.”  

Amy, who would like a career in prosthetic engineering when she leaves school, received a VIP tour of the Bloodhound factory as one of her winner’s prizes. She also was allowed a look around the car itself as well as seeing her design made into the official key.

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