Tuesday 23rd May at Stow Maries Aerozone,13 teams from ten schools across the country took part in the National Finals of the UKRoC Build a Rocket Competition. The ESB proudly supported Essex schools to compete in both regional and national finals through its E&I STEM Programme. The event was supported by helping link schools to a volunteer from industry which used their expertise to help the students build the rockets.
At the end of the event, it was announced that Essex school, Sweyne Park School, had won the overall competition with their rocket, taking them to the international round of the competition.
This competition tasked students to design and engineer a rocket that had to reach an altitude of 775ft and separate safely to parachute down an egg contained inside the rocket. The teams which achieved the best scores then progressed to sthe second stage where the altitude and flight times were increased.
There were two schools from Essex who entered teams, having previously been successful at the Regional Finals. These schools were Stewards Academy from Harlow and, winners, Sweyne Park from Rayleigh.
Sweyne Park’s Year 9 students took first place and Stewards Academy students took third place in the competition. As a result, Sweyne Park will now move onto the third and final part of the competition competing against teams from America, France and Japan at the International Paris Air show on the 22nd to 23rd June. ADS are the UK event organisers and will fund the school to attend the international finals.
During the awards ceremony, inspirational speeches about careers in the space industry were given by event sponsor Lockheed Martin, Surrey Satellite Technology and Oxford Space Systems.
The Education and Industry STEM Programme has previously had success with this challenge. In 2015, James Hornsby from Basildon placed first at the UKRoC Nationals and also went to Paris but did not place at the International’s. However, the students had the opportunity to go to Parliament and talk with MPs about how this challenge had inspired them to go onto study STEM subjects with interest in engineering as future careers.
Sweyne Park were inspired to take part in the competition following an earlier STEM speed-networking organised by the E&I STEM Programme. It was supported by 16 employers coming from Ford, BT, Konica Minolta, Olympus Mead, TFL, Beacon East, Ember Properties, Leonardo and Wickham Engineering. Thanks to the support of local industry, Essex schoolchildren are opening up to a world of STEM and the careers that it could lead to.