Heathfield students aim for the stars in a Gallactic Challenge.

27th April

Hard at work at the Gallactic Challenge

Galactic Challenge Champions

On Saturday 23 April, 12 Year 8 Heathfield Community College students took part in the UK Space Design Competition Galactic Challenge held at Bede’s Senior School, Upper Dicker, East Sussex.  The students had an exciting day working as part of a dynamic team creating a proposal for the design, development and construction of a space station on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasinenko.

Students developed teamwork and leadership skills while expanding their knowledge of practicalities of living in space. This business simulation gave them experience of working to a budget and meeting a client’s industry style request for a proposal. Working in three teams, the students worked on Basic requirements, Structural Engineering, Operational Infrastructure, Human Factors, Automation and Robotics, and Cost.

Students in the Automation and Robotics section enhanced their debating and problem-solving skills while developing a radical transportation system using magnetic fields to move their pod around the space station.  Students in the Structural Engineering department used their material design skills to develop a living space catering for the needs of humans living in a zero-gravity environment. Students enhanced their design skills while planning out the construction of the living quarters. Meanwhile Fynn Benning researched the prices of titanium and aluminium, and calculated the cost of food supplies for ten years. 

The day ended with presentations from all three teams detailing their proposals.

Columbus Aviation (Louis Randford – Head of Automation), Daniel Wooler, Elizabeth Collis, Lottie Nickols, Harry Nicholson and Hugo Josling gave a superb presentation. Particularly impressive were their detailed construction plans and their idea to use Cryptocurrency mining to recover their costs. The judges praised their detailed cost awareness and consideration of safety requirements.

Infinity Aerospace (Fynn Benning, Mary Jane Powderly, Ella Smith, Natalia Milewska, Patrick Lewis and Sophie Collie) gave an impressive presentation. Their fusion and solar powered space station included magnetic technology to create the illusion of gravity, medical and driving training for station staff and a laboratory to investigate extra-terrestrial life.  The judges praised their well-thought-out experiments and the justified use of algae to supply oxygen.

All teams impressed the judges, giving well planned presentations and coping well with questioning afterwards. Infinity Aerospace, with their meticulous planning and attention to detail, were the team to successfully win over the potential clients and gained first place in the Challenge.

Well done to all the students involved for participating, and for making the day a huge success!

Headteacher, Caroline Barlow thanked the staff involved, noting they had given up weekend time to accompany the students and equip them to be able to present themselves so well, “This is a testament to the knowledge and skills students acquired in STEM subjects at the College as well as the confidence our students have to articulate themselves so well in this arena. We are very proud of them and can’t wait to see what they go on to explore next!”