Cambridge school wins space race

Posted on 18 May 2012

Perse School in Cambridge has beaten 19 other teams to become national Youth Rocketry Champions, winning an all-expenses paid trip to NASA in Houston, USA.

Held at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, 20 small groups from across England, Northern Ireland, and Wales had to design, construct and safely launch a rocket carrying two raw hen’s eggs.

The rocket was required to reach a height of exactly 800ft and weigh no more than 650 grams. The payload of eggs then had to return safely to the ground within 43-47 seconds using only a single parachute.

Perse School came first with their rocket reaching an altitude of 803 feet in 40 seconds with their payload landing unbroken.

Perse School, as well as winning their trip to NASA, will also now face the finalists from US and France at the Farnborough International Airshow on Futures Day, 13 July.

The 2011 UK Finalist, Worksop College, came second to the US team in the international finals held at the Paris Airshow last year.

Graham Chisnall, deputy CEO and managing director for Aerospace at trade organisation ADS, said that Perse School had provided an excellent display of innovation and talent. UK Aerospace companies have been involved in the challenge by providing advice and expertise to the teams, solely for the purpose of inspiring these young people to become the engineers of tomorrow.”

Keith Wilkins, head of design technology and team leader of Perse School said: “The prospect of the trip to NASA is a great prize for the team, but first we’re going to concentrate on winning the International Rocketry Challenge at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow.”