Youth Rocketry Challenge

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It was all eyes to the skies at Stow-Maries Airfield yesterday when pupils from the Gilberd school brought their classroom-built rockets to see who could go beyond the clouds.

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The event was part of the national United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC) which involves students, aged between 11 and 18, having to design a rocket which must be launched to a height of 775 feet with a specific target flight duration of 41-43 seconds landing safely without breaking its payload of a raw egg. Rules governing the competition are altered every year to ensure designs can’t be reused.

The Gilberd School entered two teams of pupils’, one entirely of boys and the other girls. The boy’s team, consisting of Benjamin Allen, Oscar Wallington, Henry Watson-Smith, Amir Agosalim, Daniel Onibudo, Ayush Agarwal and Suhash Hissain, were crowned regional winners after competing in the regional finals, held at Stow-Maries Aerodrome, Maldon. The second Gilberd team, which included Charlotte Hooker, Erin Jayne Penson, Lauren Brown, Jenna Kedian, Lillie Collins, Molly Chansuwan, Milly Presland, Yasmin Salih and Ella Tracey, also took part in the finals. The full video can be seen on the @GilberdScience twitter page.

The competition received more than 45 entries from across the region, with only 3 teams being chosen to progress to the national finals.

Mr Wilby, who has been coordinating the STEM project for the school said: “Having no prior experience of rocketry, the two teams have worked exceptionally hard to build rockets in line with the specifications and although they haven’t won, they are now prepared to better their designs when we get next year’s specifications.”

UKAYRoC is the largest model rocket event in the UK, with winners going on to compete in the international fly-off against the American, French and Japanese winning teams at the Paris Air Show.