School children look to the stars at Bede’s Galactic Challenge

31 Jan 2020 | Bede's |
31 Jan 2020 |

On Saturday 18 January, over 120 Year 6, 7 and 8 budding engineers from across Sussex and Kent travelled to Bede’s Senior School in Upper Dicker for its annual Galactic Challenge event.

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The winning team, Solaris Flight Systems, at Bede’s Galactic Challenge

The day saw children from Bede’s Prep, Blatchington Mill, Brambletye, Marlborough House, Pennthorpe, Skippers Hill, St Andrew’s Prep, The Schools at Somerhill, Trinity School Croydon and Vinehall join forces to design a tourist destination on the moon on 2069, a century after the initial moon landing.

The pupils were organised into five teams, Solaris Flight Systems, Columbus Aviation, Astrodyne Delta, Infinity Aerospace and Hyperion Space Ventures. Bede’s Space Design students, who will be competing in the national finals of the UK Space Design Challenge (UKSDC) in March, took mentoring and technical advisor positions and led the teams.

Each team was tasked with allocating a President and then Heads of Department to lead key areas of the design including Human Engineering, Structural Engineering, Operations Engineering and Management. The teams then collaborated to create a design proposal, which they then presented to assembled parents and a judging panel featuring prominent STEM ambassadors and experts from the UKSDC in the afternoon.

Following their presentations and Q&As, the judges announced Solaris Flight Systems as the winning team, with each pupil receiving a certificate and medal. Mr Richards, Galactic Challenge CEO and Teacher of Maths at Bede’s, says, “Choosing the winning proposal is never easy and this year was no exception. The presentation from the Columbus Aviation team was as professional as any we have seen over the years, but it was just pipped at the post by the proposal from Solaris Flight Systems who addressed more aspects of the brief and included some excellent drawings and well thought-out power and communications systems.”

Mr Richards continues, “We were truly impressed with everyone’s efforts and teamwork at this year’s Galactic Challenge; for children of such a young age, the ideas, imagination and cooperation shown throughout the day was astounding, and all involved should be very proud of what they achieved. This was our biggest year to date in terms of numbers, and it is fantastic to see the event getting more and more popular year on year. As well as encouraging children to pursue STEM in their studies – and potentially future careers – the Galactic Challenge offers an opportunity for them to build teamwork, communication and leadership skills. We very much look forward to next year’s event.”

Bede’s welcomed three new schools to the Galactic Challenge this year: Pennthorpe, St Andrews and Vinehall.

About Bede's

Bede's is a coeducational independent school for 13-19 year olds.

The School is set in 140 beautiful acres of the Sussex Downs and is situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Special Scientific Interest.

Our current student roll is 750, with over 300 of our students boarding at one of our 5 stunning boarding houses which were recognised by the Institute of Chartered Surveyors in 2013 for their Outstanding Design and Innovation.

Bede's is a place where every pupil is truly treated as an individual and where we enrich young people in a holistic way - not only for success in the material sense but in ways which enable them to flourish meaningfully, as rounded human beings.

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