Bede’s hosts its fourth ‘Galactic Challenge’

January 31, 2019

Bede’s School hosted its annual ‘Galactic Challenge’ for pupils from years 6, 7 and 8 on Saturday 19 January.  The event saw over 100 eager engineers from Bede’s Prep, Brambletye, Chailey School, Great Walstead, Holmewood House, Marlborough House, Rose Hill, Skippers Hill, Trinity School, Croydon and The Schools at Somerhill attend.

The students were organised into five teams, Solaris Flight Systems, Columbus Aviation, Astrodyne Delta, Infinity Aerospace and Hyperion Space Ventures. Bede’s Space Design students, who will be competing in the national finals of the Space Design Challenge in March, took mentoring and technical advisor positions, and led the teams.

The task for this year was to design a space settlement for 2500 permanent residents and 6300 transient passengers that was to travel in a continuous cyclic orbit between Earth and Mars. The students had to allocate a President and then Heads of Department to lead key areas of the design including Human Engineering, Structural Engineering and Management. In the afternoon, the students had to put together a PowerPoint presentation to show their design proposal. The only limit to the day’s proceedings were time, available personnel and their imagination.

With the number of competing students and parents exceeding the capacity of previous years, the teams assembled in the Multipurpose Hall to give their presentations in front of the other teams, their parents and a judging panel from the UK Space Design Challenge, including Tony Mears from the UK Space Agency. The teams each had ten minutes to present their designs, followed by an intense couple of minutes of questioning from the judges.

Mr Richards explained ‘the teams presented exceptionally detailed proposals and the judging panel was impressed with the designs that the groups had managed to put together in such a short period of time. They remarked on the enthusiasm, imagination and detail of the designs’.

After deliberations, the judges announced to the teams that Columbus Aviation had been successful with their design and they received medals from Mr Mears and Mr Peter Goodyer, Bede’s Headmaster. The parents, teachers and students of the schools involved left the event buzzing, having spent an intense day and looking forward to next year’s Challenge.

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