Can rocket man Richard Noble inspire schoolchildren to love science? – METRO

The Bloodhound Super Sonic Car is displayed at Downing Street (Picture: Getty)Richard Noble’s £40million car is inspiring millions of children to become Britain’s next engineers.

Noble, now aged 67, is using Bloodhound to spearhead science and engineering education reform in schools.

The education situation in Britain is appalling!

We’re falling down the international rankings and if this country is going to make it on a world scale as it once did, it’s fundamental we sort out the system.

In schools there isn’t anything exciting going on. There’s nothing we as adults are doing that inspires children but Bloodhound really inspires them

four per cent of registered engineers in Britain are women

We have 5,400 schools on our education programme, so we’re talking about the better part of 2million kids. They get very excited because they live in a virtual world and we’re dealing with reality – and the world’s fastest car.

At the Westwood Academy in Coventry, Noble and ambassadors from his team of 550 volunteers are visiting a Year 8 class frantically assembling air-propelled vehicles from K’nex construction kits. They have an hour to complete their cars before a spot of highly competitive wacky races in the sports hall.

I’m struck by how many girls there are compared to the boys, something Noble is delighted about, given that just four per cent of registered engineers in Britain are women

We’ve got a huge problem with gender balance,’ says Noble. ‘Business secretary Vince Cable told me that in 50 per cent of all state co-educational schools there’s not one girl with a physics A-level and yet they will produce around 90,000 hairdressers. It’s great to see so many girls here and the very best design I’ve seen today has come from a girl – in fact it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.


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