Bede's Pupils Have An Out Of This World Experience at NASA


July 25 saw Bede’s pupils Parmis Fadavi-Hosseini and Kozma Prelevic fly to the USA as part of the UK and EU teams in the International final of the Space Design Competition, which took place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Parmis and Kozma won their hard-earned selection to the teams after competing at the final of the UK Space Design Competition held at Imperial College London, where they were selected from a group of nearly 200 individuals to join 12 other pupils heading to NASA. They spent a week competing with teams from across the world.


They were eased in gently to their week in the USA, with trips to Universal Studios, the mall and the beach but the hard work was soon under way.

On arrival, everyone received a preliminary briefing as well as lectures of instruction depending on their sub teams.

The task was to propose a detailed design for a future human settlement on Venus which could sustain a population of 10,000 people; producing designs for every aspect of the settlement.    


Working in teams of 50 was a particularly challenging aspect. Parmis, who was elected as Head of Human Engineering on her team, said ‘I had to manage a sub team of 12 and with an international team, communication was certainly challenging at times.’

Kozma, elected the Systems Engineer on his team, had the role of overseeing all the design aspects of his settlement, with difficulties arising when managing different ideas and expectations of his team members.


The teams barely had two days to produce thedesign, with little or no sleep had by anyone as a result. On the third day, the teams have to present their designs in only 30 minutes to a team of judges, followed by ten minutes of brutal questioning.

On the final day, the teams received a tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see launch pads and the facility where America launched Apollo 8.


Parmis, 18 who is currently studying Maths, Physics and Biology A Levels said, ‘The trip really was an experience of a lifetime. Not only having the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center, but as someone who wants to get into engineering, I learned how to deal with the realities of the industry in such a challenging environment.’

Parmis is hoping to study Architectural Engineering at Imperial next year and is currently running the UK Space Design Competition at Bede’s with fellow pupil Marko Brnovic and teacher of Maths Bill Richards.


Kozma, aged 16, is currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics for A Level and is hoping to study Theoretical Physics or Aeronautical Engineering said ‘It was a fantastic opportunity to work with competitors from all over the globe and I met some amazing people. I feel like I have had an invaluable insight into the industry I want to pursue.’

In the meantime, Kozma has recently visited Nepal on a charitable expedition and is currently exploring the world of Drama taking on a lead role in the School production ‘A View from the Bridge’.

Learn more about the UK Space Design Competition at Bede's > 

Learn more about the Science Department at Bede's >