Magherafelt students lift off into national rocketry final
Students from Rainey Endowed School are through to the national final of the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKRoC)
Designed to encourage teamwork, creativity and innovation, The Rocketry Challenge features a record number of entrants this year. More than 500 students from 98 teams across the UK are taking part in preliminary rounds; winners of the regional finals automatically win a place at the national finals and will be joined by highly ranked runners-up from across the regional competitions.
Rainey Endowed School, sponsored by Casteldawson-based Moyola Precision Engineering, saw close competition from Bloomfield Collegiate School. Bloomfield Collegiate School, of Belfast, was sponsored by Resonate Testing Ltd which has established a new facility in Newry.
Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS Group said: “Congratulations to Rainey Endowed School, I wish them all the best at the national final.
“There has never been a better time to take part in the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge as the UK’s space and aerospace industries continue to boom; with a wealth of exciting projects on the horizon, there are a range of high-skill well-paid career opportunities available.
“The future success of these industries is dependent on a new generation coming through with strong qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths. This competition is a great way for young people to engage creatively with these subjects, experiencing first-hand the complex challenges that engineers in our industries overcome.”
Jonnie Palmer, Head of Technology and Design at Rainey Endowed School said: “We are thrilled to be through to the national finals. The Rocketry Challenge is a brilliant way for young people to take their learning outside of the classroom. It is inspiring for students to be able to see the practical application of STEM subjects in the space and aerospace industries.”
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The winning team of the national final will go forward to represent the UK at the international finals, traveling to Paris in an all-expense paid trip to compete against students from the USA, Japan and France. The finals will be held at Paris International Airshow this June.
Organised by ADS Group, UK trade organisation for space and aerospace industries, and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the UK’s largest youth model rocket competition is now in its eleventh year.
Paul Davey, Civil Space Business Development Director at Lockheed Martin UK, said: “Lockheed Martin supports the UK Government’s ambition to ensure specialised skills and innovative capabilities are retained in the UK for our long-term prosperity. One of the ways we can do that is by inspiring young students to take an interest in science, technology and engineering and develop the workforce of tomorrow. Our sponsorship of the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge is one of the ways we’re able to make engineering accessible and exciting.”
Competing at RLC, Crumlin, the Rainey Endowed School students had to design and build a rocket, working with strict measurement conditions and a target altitude of 775 feet, with the aim of ensuring the ‘passenger’ - one raw egg - remained intact throughout the launch and landing. Teams of up to ten gained an insight into the design, engineering and testing process used by those working in the aerospace and space industries.
There are around 10,000 people working in the aerospace industry in Northern Ireland. Major global primes like Bombardier are supported by strong supply chains throughout the region. UKRoC is a great introduction to the skills used by many of these organisations which provide high-value and well paid careers locally.