in Space / Events

UK students take on world at International Rocketry Final

Posted 28 June 2017 · Add Comment

Six students from The Sweyne Park School, Rayleigh, Essex, competed in an international fly-off against teams representing the USA, Japan and France at the Paris Air Show last week.


 
The UK students skyrocketed into first place during the competition’s initial stage in which they presented to a panel of international aerospace experts, accounting for 40% of the teams’ total score. The Sweyne Park School team presented the design and build of their rocket, reflecting on the challenges and findings in test phases, as well as their overall experience of the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKRoC), which they won to reach the international final.
 
The second part of the international finals required the teams to design, build and launch a model rocket, with a passenger of one raw egg, to 800 feet – higher than Canary Wharf - and return it to earth safely within 42-44 seconds. In a closely fought fly-off, the winning rocket flew closest to the required time limit and altitude. The Sweyne Park School placed fourth overall.
 
Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS Group, said: “Congratulations to The Sweyne Park School for placing fourth in the world. On behalf of UK industry, we are very proud of the team’s achievements and hope they continue to pursue their engineering dreams.
 
“Not only are the team national champions, it is a huge accolade to come first in the presentation stage of the competition against the best and brightest students on a global stage. To be able to convey your ideas clearly and concisely is a key skill that employers in every sector are looking for.
 
“Continued global demand in the aerospace industry was demonstrated at Paris Air Show where the orders and commitments announced are worth around £13bn to the UK economy. There are immense career opportunities in our leading-edge industries for young people with good qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths, who take part in competitions like UKRoC.”

The International Rocketry Final is the culmination of four separate competitions held annually around the globe: the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKRoC); the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC); the French Rocketry Challenge; and the Japanese Rocketry Challenge.

The Sweyne Park School team are the UKRoC champions, beating more than 500 students from 97 teams across the UK, winning a place in the international final at Paris Air Show.

The all-expenses paid trip to Paris, which was one of the team member’s first trips abroad, saw the group of 14 year olds watch a flying display from the Raytheon chalet and meet NASA astronaut Al Worden and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
 
Peter Ruddock, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK, sponsors of UKRoC, said: “The pupils from The Sweyne Park should be hugely proud of their achievements in the Rocketry Challenge. It is encouraging to see the talent showcased by these young people and I hope that the pupils’ success inspires others to get involved in STEM activities and consider careers in the aerospace and engineering sectors, which are so key to the UK’s future prosperity.”
 
Craig Stevens, Science teacher at The Sweyne Park School said: “It has been a money-can’t-buy experience for the boys, attending an international airshow, meeting world famous astronauts and chief test pilots as well as competing against peers from across the world. All at The Sweyne Park School are extremely proud of the boys and we will definitely enter a team next year.”
 
The aerospace and space industries collectively employ 162,000 people across the UK, at companies such as Lockheed Martin, Airbus, BAE Systems, GKN, MBDA and Rolls Royce and are supported by nationwide supply chains. UKRoC is a great introduction to the skills used by many of these organisations which provide high-value and well paid careers locally.
 

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