Bede’s Team Claims Runner-Up Spot at UKSDC Final


At the beginning of the Easter holidays, eight Sixth Form students from Bede's travelled to Imperial College London to take part in the national final of the UK Space Design Competition.

Everyone was in high spirits and looking forward to the intense weekend ahead.


The Bede's team and Mr Richards.

We faced a space design challenge on a much larger scale than the qualifying round, competing in a company of 50 students from schools across the country.

We were introduced to the competition in a lecture room with the 200 other students that had made it this far. Everyone was excited and nervous in equal parts about the challenge that we were about to be given!

The brief, unlike for the qualifying round, was extremely complicated, with very specific minimum requirements for all four areas of engineering covered each company, operations, structural, automation, and human.


The overall idea was to design a cycler orbiter that would go between Earth and Mars to transport 9000 people. This included a community of both permanent and temporary residents making the journey to Mars.

We had 19 hours to complete the proposal and hand it in as a 35 minute long presentation.

Everyone worked through the night on all aspects of the brief, with only a few short hours of sleep between us. On Sunday morning, we were all absolutely exhausted, but we felt proud with what we had achieved.


Some very tired Bedians...

Each member of the company had a vital part to play in bringing together the entire project, and our eight students did the school proud in their contributions to the final concept.

It was both encouraging and inspiring to watch a group of such talented young people working with a remarkable amount of determination.

Despite all of our hard work, we were not successful this time, coming very close to victory in a very tight finale. Unofficially, we were told that we came second by one vote, narrowly missing out on first place!


This was very disappointing to hear, however we feel that the weekend brought an enormous amount of success for the Bede's team and demonstrated our prowess on the national field.

We gained invaluable skills that can be applied to future endeavors, and passionately believe that this is something we can pursue as a school for many years to come. 

It is our aim to see Bede's representation at UKSDC survive as a tradition that long outlives our time at the school, and next time we hope to involve as many members of the Bede's community as possible.


That is why, next year, we will encourage not just one but two teams to enter, one submitting a video entry and one moving through the regional heats in early September.

As a team, we feel that the school community can build on this year's successes and attack the UKSDC with more knowledge and confidence, shooting to go all the way in 2016.


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