On Saturday 24 April 2022, Bede's hosted Galactic Challenge, a space design competition for Years 6-8 that encourages pupils to be innovative, creative, and collaborative whilst challenging their application of physics and mathematics in an astrophysical way.
Throughout the competition, pupils are placed into teams and are tasked with creating a presentation following a press release from the Foundation Society, which answers a request for a proposal. On Saturday, the students were transported to the year 2052 and were tasked with the design for the construction and development of a space lab, Spacelab St George, on the comet 67P/CG.
The teams throughout the day worked in specific sectors and management positions, imitating that of an actual aerospace design team. Structurally they tackled problems such as a lack of gravity, durability, radiation and thermal heating levels, and the ability to construct on a body as icy and rocky as a comet. Operationally they tackled water and food consumption, power demands, and acclimatization.
On the other hand in the human engineering sector, they tackled leisure, research, and residential layouts. Finally, automatically they were tasked with constructing a number of robots, rovers, and transportation methods that allowed the scientists to carry out their occupational tasks.
All of the teams produced creative and innovative design concepts that ranged from self-repairing wall sensors to using algae as a source of oxygen. Whilst all the teams were impressive, especially considering their ages, Solaris were the team that came out victorious. Their ideas of using plants multi-functionally for agriculture, improved mental health, and as a nutritional food source, as well as their hilarious 'mic' drop particularly won the judges over.
It was a most inspiring day for participants and all involved and it was simply astounding to see such an amazing display of creativity.