Bede’s Prepares for UK Space Design Competition 2019


Over 20 pupils from across the year groups are busy preparing for the UKSDC Regionals in November – and there is still time to get involved.

Last year’s UK Space Design Competition was a huge success for Bede’s, with a team of 12 pupils reaching the UK Finals held at Imperial College in London, and two pupils going on to compete in the International Final at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the USA.

This year, we hope to do even better, and are currently hard at work preparing for the Regional Heat to be held at Bede’s Senior School on Saturday 17 November. The team is getting involved in a variety of challenges, including researching and building a machine to launch a ping pong ball from only sticks and elastic bands.

Following the heats, we hope to reach the UK Finals taking place at Easter 2019. This is an intensive two-day event, during which pupils are placed in five different ‘companies’ with pupils from other schools and tasked with a design project that might be situated on another planet or in deep space and set 70 years in the future. Each ‘company’ has 50 members, and is split into departments (Structural Engineering, Operations Engineering, Human Engineering, Robotics and Automation Engineering, and Business and Marketing), with a variety of roles on offer. There are no teachers involved – all of the role allocation, research, ideas and final product is up to you!


Bede's team at the UKSDC Final at Imperial College London, March 2018

Bede’s will also be supporting Blatchington Mill’s Galactic Challenge, which will see a host of Primary School pupils compete in a similar competition for a younger age group on Thursday 18 October. Bede’s pupils will act as technical advisors and mentors at the event, which will run along the same lines as Bede’s own annual Galactic Challenge (next year’s event will take place in January 2019).

As well as testing pupils’ academic and creative prowess, the competition stands participants in excellent stead for future job and university applications. Pupils gain a range of demonstrable interpersonal skills as a result of having to work well as part of a team in a competitive environment. The skills gained from taking part in UKSDC are unique and achieved purely through participation (although we want to win, it genuinely is the taking part that counts).

We are looking for pupils with a range of interests to join the Bede’s UKSDC team – from Maths and Science, to Art and English Literature. Alongside engineering and design, there are roles in leadership, public speaking, drawing and organisation, and all are just as important as the other. If you are interested in getting involved, please email Mr Richards at

Learn more about UKSDC >

Learn more about Space Science Club at Bede's >

Learn more about Bede's Co-Curricular Programme >