Bede’s pupils are over the moon to be heading to NASA

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Bede’s is delighted that for the third year in a row, we are sending pupils to NASA!

Jan, Finn and Tim will be flying off this summer as part of the UK team in the International final of the Space Design Competition, taking place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at the end of July, spending a week competing with teams from across the world.

Bill Richards, Teacher of Maths at Bede’s explains ‘The Space Design Competition is a unique engineering challenge for pupils aged 15 to 18.  It asks them to propose a detailed design for a future human settlement or spacecraft set in the future; in this year’s final it was a space settlement for 90,000 people in 2054; producing designs for every aspect of the settlement from airlocks to artificial gravity’. 

Finn, Tim and Jan won their hard-earned selection after competing in the winning team of 45, which included 12 Bede’s pupils, at the final of the UK Space Design Competition.  The competition, held at Imperial College London over the weekend of the 16 and 17 March, saw them selected from a group of nearly 250 individuals to join nine other pupils heading to NASA.

Jan, who is in the Upper Sixth at Bede’s studying Physics, Chemistry and Further Maths, and is planning to study Physics at University next year said ‘It is an incredible opportunity – to go to NASA and to work as part of a fantastic team in the competition is a real privilege.  We are all really excited’.

Bill Richards continues ‘One of the reasons that Bede’s is exceptionally keen to be involved in this competition is that it helps our pupils develop skills that cannot easily be learned in the classroom.  The experience of working collaboratively under tight deadlines can only help prepare them for modern life.  The twelve pupils who were at the final will inspire younger pupils when Bede’s holds the annual Galactic Challenge, which is a similar to the Space Design Competition for those aged 10-13 from local primary schools in January 2020.

‘I am incredibly thrilled that these three exceptional pupils have the chance to experience this life-changing opportunity and I am really looking forward to hearing all about it’.

Photograph shows L to R Mr Bill Richards, Jan Apolin, Finn Radcliffe, Tim Scott-Rudd and Dr Suzanne Lewis


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