School children design futuristic lunar tourist attraction in space design challenge

Sussex pupils ‘went to infinity and beyond’ when they took part in a space design challenge.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 4:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 3:36 pm
The winning team, Solaris Flight Systems, at Bede’s Galactic Challenge

More than 120 school children from across Sussex and Kent took part in the Galactic Challenge at Bede’s Senior School, Upper Dicker.

Budding engineers from Years 6,7, and 8 competed in space design challenges as part of the event on Saturday, January 18.

The annual challenge welcomes children from two counties and this year’s challenge involved designing a lunar tourist destination for 2069 - a century on from the initial moon landing.

Pupils formed five teams to compete in the challenge and the schools involved were: Bede’s Preparatory School, Eastbourne, Blatchington Mill School, Hove, Brambletye School, East Grinstead, Marlborough House School, Hawkhurst, Pennthorpe Preparatory School, Horsham, Skippers Hill Manor Preparatory School, Mayfield, St Andrew’s Preparatory School, Eastbourne, The Schools at Somerhill, Tonbridge, Trinity School, Croydon, and Vinehall School, Robertsbridge.

All teams taking part had to consider key elements of their designs like Human Engineering, Structural Engineering, Operations Engineering, and Management.

Design proposals were presented to parents and a judging panel featuring prominent STEM ambassadors and experts from the UK Space Design Competition.

Following presentations and Q&A sessions, judges announced Solaris Flight Systems as the winning team, with each pupil receiving a certificate and a medal.

Bill Richards, Galactic Challenge CEO and Bede’s maths teacher, said: “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.”

Turnout at this year’s challenge, which encourages children to pursue science, technology and maths studies and careers, was larger than previous years.

“We were truly impressed with everyone’s efforts and teamwork at this year’s Galactic Challenge,” Mr Richards said.

“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.”

The next Galactic Challenge will take place at Bede’s in January next year and interested schools can contact Bill Richards at [email protected]