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Sweyne Park School pupils to compete in rocketry final

The Sweyne Park School UK RoC champions will travel to Paris and face teams from USA, France and Japan

Posted by Lucinda Reid | June 05, 2017 | Technology

Pupils from The Sweyne Park School have overcome 97 teams to become the national champions of the UK Youth Rocketry Competition (UKRoC).

A record number of entrants

More than 500 students from 98 teams across the UK took part in preliminary regional rounds this year; The Sweyne Park School came out on top at the national final and will now represent the UK, competing against the USA, France and Japan at the international finals to be held on 23rdJune at Paris International Airshow.

A record number of entrants to the competition this year saw the highly competitive national final go down to the wire, with the closest winning margin in the competition’s history.

The schools in the top five rankings after The Sweyne Park School were: Tonbridge School Team 1; Stewards Academy; Green Bank High School; and Team 2 from Tonbridge School.

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS Group said: “Congratulations to The Sweyne Park School for winning the UKRoC national finals. Not only will they be supported by their home county of Essex, the whole of the UK will be behind them as they go forward to compete in the international finals in Paris”.

“To succeed in the increasingly competitive global market, the UK must have a steady stream of talented and inspired young people coming through with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths. For one of The Sweyne Park School team members, the trip to Paris will be his first abroad, demonstrating just the start of the wealth of opportunities available through engaging with these subjects,” added Paul.

The UK's largest youth model rocket competition 

Organised by ADS Group, UK trade organisation for space and aerospace industries, and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the UK’s largest youth model rocket competition is in its eleventh year.

Paul Davey, UK Business Development Director at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, said: “Congratulations are in order for The Sweyne Park School who will be representing the UK’s next generation of engineers at the Paris Air Show. Lockheed Martin is a strong advocate of engaging the next generation with the possibilities of STEM projects and careers. We support the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge’s approach of taking young people outside the classroom and showing them how subjects like maths and science can be exciting and rewarding. We are confident they can go one step further and win the international finals next month.”

Insight into the aerospace industry

Competing at Stow Maries Aerodrome, The Sweyne Park School students made final tweaks to their rocket in accordance with results from a series of previous test launches, working to strict measurement conditions and a target altitude of 775 feet, with the aim of ensuring the ‘passenger’ - one raw egg - remained intact throughout the launch and landing. Through taking part in UKRoC, The Sweyne Park School team gained an insight into the design, engineering and testing process used by those working in the aerospace and space industries.

Craig Stevens, Science teacher at The Sweyne Park School said, “We are so happy to be UKRoC champions! The opportunity for the students to travel to Paris and experience Paris International Airshow is exactly what this competition is about - it’s exciting and inspiring for them to see what could potentially be their future”.

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