Students shoot for the stars at Farnborough International Airshow Futures Day

Altran 1 Photo credit David Davies

15 July 2016


Pupils from Abbeyfield School in Wiltshire will today go head to head with teams from around the world, competing to take home the top prize in the UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC).

The reigning UK champions, made up of year 7 and 8 students, won the 10th annual UKAYRoC national final earlier this year, beating 33 other teams across three gruelling rounds of competition, and nabbing a coveted spot in the final. Now the team will face up to representatives from the USA, Japan and France in the international final being held today at the Farnborough International Air Show.

Speaking before the event, Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS Group which runs the air show, said: “Congratulations to Abbeyfield School for winning the UKAYRoC national finals. They carry the nation’s hopes on their shoulders as they go forward to represent the UK against teams from the USA, France and Japan.“

The future success of our industries is dependent on a new generation coming through with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths. The Rocketry Challenge is an engaging way for young people to explore how these subjects are put into practical use.

The challenge itself will see the teams competing to design, build and launch a rocket, piloting it to a set altitude with a specific total flight duration, before returning the rocket, complete with a fragile payload, safely to earth again. The challenge is designed not only to excite students about the practical applications of STEM subjects, but promotes teamwork, creativity and innovation.

As the UK’s largest youth model rocket competition, UKAYRoC this year saw an unprecedented number of entrants, with more than 185 students and 34 teams battling it out in the preliminary rounds. The Abbeyfield crew successfully reached the target altitude of 850 feet and safely returned their cargo of two raw eggs without a fault.

Alongside hosting the rocketry challenge, Futures Day at the Farnborough International Air Show gives young people aged 11-21 the chance to experience the exciting career opportunities available in the aerospace industry. The Innovation Zone provides the perfect opportunity to get hands on with future tech and engage with representatives from a wide variety of academic and professional institutions.

Helping visitors celebrate Futures Day at the airshow will be British astronaut Tim Peak, Director General of the European Space Agency, Jan Woerner, and the Director for Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, David Parker.

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