HUDSON -- Students cheered about physics after learning the basics of design, force and energy to build a rocket car.
Blurs of blue flew by as students watched their cars compete on the track during the inaugural Hudson City School District BLOODHOUND Rocket Race May 18 at the Hudson Memorial Stadium.
Swagelok Company associates approached Hudson School District Superintendent Phil Herman in 2015 to check the district's interest in exploring science, technology, engineering and math content the company had access to with its sponsorship of the BLOODHOUND effort.
"Relationships like the one we’ve forged with Hudson City School District are vitally important," said David Schuellerman, spokesman, Swagelok Company. "Inspiring young students to explore and thrive in their study of the STEM subjects is foundational to keeping them engaged with STEM subjects in middle and high school, and in college on their way to STEM careers with Swagelok or other Northeast Ohio companies. The world needs more engineers."
Herman said he believed it was an "exciting opportunity" for the school district.
The Hudson school district collaborated with Solon-based manufacturer Swagelok Company and BLOODHOUND SSC, an organization based in Bristol, England, pursuing a 1,000 mph world land speed record.
The students designed, built and raced BLOODHOUND model rocket cars with components provided by Swagelok.
The speed was measured using a one-meter gauge, and cars were ranked. Bacon Bot took first place with 60.46 mph speed record in the morning races. The team included Jonah Mikolay, Adaliah Rutherford, Mae Ivey and Claire Greco.
Other car teams in order of highest to lowest were Rocket Racers, Super-Sonic, Watermelon XD, Neon Racers, Fast as Fury, Team Groot, Bench, The Anchors and Go Bananas.
The results of the afternoon races were not available by press time.
Hudson adds BLOODHOUND lessons to its curriculum
Hudson City School District has become the first school district in the United States to formally add BLOODHOUND lessons to its curriculum.
Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, two teams of fourth-grade teachers integrated BLOODHOUND lessons across a range of subjects: earth, physical and life sciences; physics; chemistry; language arts; social studies; and English.
About 225 students from East Woods participated in the program. They designed and built 64 cars, which students raced May 18, said Christina Wooley, curriculum coordinator.
Hudson High School students made cars and then helped the fourth- and fifth-graders build their race cars.
They [high school students] had a lot of fun getting out of class and doing something out of the ordinary," said HS physics and AP physics teacher Alan Golden.
East Wood students learned about science, technology, engineering and math with hands on lessons through designing a rocket car.
They learned the basic topics of force, acceleration and energy in physics, Golden said.
Parent volunteer Kieth Unke said he works at Timken which makes the ball bearings for the BLOODHOUND car.
"We want to do it [BLOODHOUND LESSONS] in other schools," Unke said. "We want to see if we can spread the program across Ohio."
The BLOODHOUND race car will have time trials in 2018 on an England airfield and then in 2019 it will race in South Africa to attempt to beat the land speed record, Unke said.
Unke, who helped students build their cars, said one girl decided to become an engineer because of the experience. The project is about getting kids excited about science and technology, he said.
"That's the type of excitement we want to inspire," Unke said "The kids were focused when building their cars. They were on a mission."
Fourth-grade teachers Terri Lukehart, Jen Oshaben, Jennie Antes and Carrie Denges taught using the STEM curriculum this year, Wooley said. The district added fifth-grade teachers, Sharon Nivert, Kristin Shultz, Mary Gladstone, Rocky Jones and David Johns in December.
"Since this is the first year, the [BLOODHOUND] project has grown, and we have adjusted and added teachers when the opportunity presented itself," Wooley said.
Students and teachers have embraced the BLOODHOUND curriculum, Wooley said.
"Pretty much every aspect has been a wonderful surprise," Wooley said. "Students feel very lucky to be participating in the BLOODHOUND project. It is beautiful to hear from numerous students about their hopes of being an engineer as they have enjoyed the learning experiences in this journey."
Teachers have worked to integrate BLOODHOUND with their standards and engage students in the lessons, Wooley said.
Wooley and a mix of Hudson teachers and administrators are currently working through how to expand the reach of BLOODHOUND lessons to other grade levels next school year.
"We will reflect on the entire BLOODHOUND experience following the race and create a framework to share with other teachers if they would like to join the project," Wooley said. "We have received interest from other businesses looking to support the project, and we are excited to expand the partnerships."
A project like this has a high level of engagement and interfaces with the curriculum to provide invaluable learning opportunities, Wooley said. It is worth the time investment.
Residents can watch the event on HCTV at watch.hudsoncommunity.tv.
To learn more about Swagelok, visit www.Swagelok.com.