Bede's Hosts Prep Schools Annual Galactic Challenge

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Bede’s School hosted its annual ‘Galactic Challenge’ for pupils from Years 6, 7 and 8 on Saturday 20 January. 

The event saw over 80 eager engineers from Bede’s Prep, Marlborough House, Rose Hill, Skippers Hill, Yardley Court, Willingdon, Blatchington Mill, St. Christopher’s Hove and Brambletye Schools attend.

After a hearty breakfast and welcome from Bede’s Deputy Head John Tuson and the event organiser Bill Richards, the task was revealed; this year it was to design an initial settlement for 400 inhabitants in lava tubes below the planet of Mars. Mr Richards briefed the pupils that from now on the year was 2060 and that the only limit to the day’s proceedings were time, available personnel and imagination.

After putting on a Galactic Challenge T-shirt the students were organised into four teams, Solaris Flight Systems, Columbus Aviation, Astrodyne Delta and Infinity Aerospace and headed off to separate classrooms to start work. Bede’s Space Design students, who took mentoring and technical advisor positions, led the teams.

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Bill Richards explained ‘Each group had members of the Bede’s Space Design team working with them to guide them through the brief, but to avoid directly answering questions, since the objective is for the young students to arrive at their own solutions. The first task that the group had to do was to allocate a President and then Heads of Department to lead key areas of the design including Human Engineering, Structural Engineering and Management. After a well-deserved lunch, the pupils had to put together a PowerPoint presentation to show their design proposal’.

In front of a room packed full of their parents and a judging panel from the UK Space Design Challenge, including Dr Randall Perry the competition’s founder, the teams each had ten minutes to present their designs, followed by an intense couple of minutes of questioning from the judges.

Mr Richards explained ‘the teams presented exceptionally detailed proposals and the judging panel was impressed with the designs that the groups had managed to put together in such a short period of time. One of the judges even asked when the teams had been issued with the brief, since he could not believe they had only worked on it since 10am; such was the quality of the work.’

After deliberations, the judges announced to the teams that Infinity Aerospace, comprised of students from Blatchington Mill, Marlborough House, Skippers Hill and Yardley Court had been successful with their design and they received medals from Dr Perry and Mr Peter Goodyer, Bede’s Headmaster. The parents, teachers and students of the schools involved left the event buzzing, having spent an intense day and looking forward to next year’s Challenge.

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