Galactic Challenge at Blatch
Here at Blatch, we recently held our very own Galactic Challenge, welcoming in a number of budding scientists from local primary schools including Brunswick, Goldstone, Aldrington and Hove Juniors, as well as students from St Paul's and Downlands!
The Galactic Challenge is the junior version of the UK Space Design Challenge which gives students the opportunity to participate in a space-industry design simulation.
Following introductions from: Ms Kinnear, Science Teacher; Bill Richards, Galactic Challenge Founder; and Sandile Ndawana, Blatch Head Student, the primary school pupils and some of our Key Stage 3 students were split up into four ‘companies’ and elected their own leader, president, and several departmental managers before getting to work on their space design proposals.
On this occasion, the companies were asked to present design, development, construction, and operations planning of the first space settlement in a cycler orbit, crossing the orbits of Earth and Mars and serving as a transportation system between the planets. The companies split into four groups with each one focussing on either: structural engineering, operations engineering, human and automation engineering, or marketing, finance and presentation.
The companies were aided by our year 10 and 11 ‘Technical Specialists’ who helped to run the event and motivate the teams, ensuring they were on the right track. There was also support from Bedes students who, as ‘CEOs’, were responsible for introducing their company‘s presentation to the judges and helped to organise the students.
After lots of hard work on their proposals, our companies (named Infinity Aerospace, Astrodyne Delta, Solaris Flight Systems and Columbus Aviation) presented their plans to our judges. Our judging panel included Mr Harrold, Blatch Head Teacher; Bill Richards, Galactic Challenge Founder; Bhavik Mohandas, Senior Product Strategy Manager at American Express; Declan Cassidy, technology expert and former Head of Impact at MakerClub; and Rachel Finch, Creative Designer and founder of Brighton Digital Women. The presentations included a number of interesting points and designs, including the ship below, which was designed Infinity Aerospace.
After much deliberation, the judges decided that Columbus Aviation had produced the most impressive space design proposal – well done, Columbus Aviation!
Livvy, a year 7 student, said, ‘it was so fun and I learnt heaps as well as making new friends’. Lucus, in year 8, shared what he’d learnt throughout the day: ‘I have learned how to protect humans against radiation, what the future of science and space exploration looks like, different means of space travel and how to sustain life on Mars.’
We’d like to thank all of the staff from Blatch, Bedes, and our local primary schools, who worked hard to make the Galactic Challenge a huge success. We’re also extremely proud of the students that took part in the challenge; their behaviour was exemplary and we were so impressed by their imaginative proposals!