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Stellar Science

Students have excelled in the British Astrophysics Olympiad and a national Space Design Competition.

Over twenty Year 10 and 11 students took part in this year’s British Astrophysics Olympiad, keen to extend their interest ignited at lunchtime Space Society; impressively, every pupil medalled in the challenge. Congratulations to all our budding astrophysicists, especially to the four pupils who achieved Gold Medals, awarded to just the top 15% of entrants nationally: Katla, Ella and Talia in Year 10 and Molly in Year 11.

Meanwhile a team of Sixth Form space enthusiasts took part in the heats of the UK Space Design Competition.  The annual science, engineering and business competition aims to simulate life in industry, giving students a taste of future studies and careers in STEM. The brief was to design a space hotel that would be in orbit around the Aldrin Cycler; fifteen schools from across the UK were competing (virtually this year) for a place in the national finals. Lower Sixth student Eva, who led a team of 50 students, reports back on the experience:

“My role as Vice President of Engineering was no easy task, especially online: coordinating and communicating with five different departments of engineering, and going back and forth between the our team’s different engineering breakout rooms… my mouse-clicking finger was very tired by the end of the day!  It was very challenging to not only keep track of progress, but to motivate and encourage the Department Heads throughout the (very) long 12 hour competition.  But it was a unique experience with so many valuable lessons, including how to communicate online with team members scattered around the country, which has improved my confidence and resilience.  There were tricky times, dealing with clashing team members, but also wonderful moments, such as seeing the many helpful contributions to the technical details of our proposal and final presentation.  The experience truly pushed my limits and will remain a memorable experience; I was very proud of our team and presentation. Unfortunately, the roving ellipse which announces the winner failed to stop on our team’s name, but it was a great day nevertheless.”


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