Year 7 Royal Wootton Bassett Academy students pitted their wits against the legendary Bloodhound Land Speed Record car team.
About 230 pupils spent two days taking part in hands-on engineering challenges, putting learning into practice, developing skills and confidence - and having fun.
The opportunity came thanks to Bloodhound Education, a charity that brings STEM subjects to life and makes the link between the classroom and careers, and a donation from the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District.
With interactive workshops and presentations by Bloodhound Education, the pupils worked as budding engineers to design and race their own prototype cars.
Sarah Day, Design and Technology Teacher and Key Stage 4 Co-Ordinator at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, said: “Our pupils had an amazing two days, seeing design and technology in action and learning how engineers are making it possible to break land speed world records.
"It was really exciting for them to put design and technology in a real-world scenario and see where they can go in the future.”
Mrs Day said that because of the pandemic restrictions, key stage three year groups had not been able to experience workshops or take part in design and manufacture sessions anywhere near as much as they normally would.
She added: “Year 7 in particular have had to miss out on several practical sessions, including their induction days to the school, and their camps and visits that they would have done in their final year of primary school.
"So, as well as providing a great learning opportunity, these days allowed them to benefit from developing problem-solving and team-working skills that they may have missed so far. “
The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is widely regarded as a pinnacle of British engineering and innovation. It is helping to push boundaries and demonstrate pioneering new technologies, requiring engineers to think in new ways – and it is these new ways of thinking which it says inspire young people in the innovative sessions that develop their skills in design and technology, as well as other STEM subjects.
Mrs Day said that the donation from the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District had enabled the workshops to go ahead, and that the school was very grateful.