I went along to Kennet School near Newbury, where the very first Bloodhound workshop session using the new Micro:bit computers was under way. After a brief introduction from programme chief Jas Thandi, the kids set to work on their foam models. Here, older and younger students are pared together, and it's fascinating to see their designs take shape. It's quickly apparent that the way to win is to cut the frontal load area, reduce weight where you can and try to eliminate as much drag as possible.
I'm happy to watch, until an official hands me my own foam block and tells me I'll be racing against the kids. I text Steve for advice...
In only an hour the designs are ready, and cut to shape using a hot wire cutting machine. The straight edges have been sanded down and the weight shedding has begun. One team has even knocked out several of the spokes from their plastic wheels in a bid to save vital grams. These kids are serious.
My own design takes inspiration from Bloodhound itself, with a cone-shaped nose leading back towards a smooth body. Of course, the models all need names, a contest which to my mind was won by Leonardo DiCarprio. Brilliant.
Next, it's out onto the playground to race our cars. Each model has a wedge cut into it for the Micro:bit to slot into. The device features an accelerometer, so we'll be able to map the data from each car. The cars will race along a wire-guided course and through a speed trap, and power will come from a pocket rocket - similar to those used in working model rockets.
The first cars line up and the track is pronounced 'live'. In the next second, there's a loud fizz as both rockets ignite and the cars take off. We're taken aback by just how fast these cars go before reaching the other end, and how much difference aerodynamics can make.
The cars are fired off in pairs until its Autocar's turn. Our car takes the start line against a model designed by a journalist from PC Advisor magazine. At the off, it looks like the Autocar rocket is going to grab the win, but we fizzle out early and PC Advisor takes the lead. I'm later told our speed was in the 50mph bracket - only slightly better than our previous efforts, then, and well behind the day's winning speed of 64mph, set by Team Dobby Doodles, no less.
Back in the classroom and the kids can see the data collected from their cars. It's clear they're engaged, with some saying how they would refine their designs for more runs.