Students reach for the stars in nationwide competition

A group of students from a Lynn secondary school are reaching for the stars after making a miniature satellite for an international competition.

The group of aspiring aerospace engineers from Springwood High School have designed and built the working satellite, which is small enough to fit inside a soft drink can.

Their creation will be entered in a competition organised by the European Space Agency.

The students from Springwood High School who have made their own satellite as part of a competition (63476044)
The students from Springwood High School who have made their own satellite as part of a competition (63476044)

Springwood science teacher, Richard Moore, who led the project, said: “Students had to be aged between 14 and 18 and studying in a country that is a European Space Agency member.

“It is normally aimed at post-16 students, but we felt that our pupils, who had already displayed a real interest in STEM, would be keen to take on the challenge.”

He continued: “We had 12 students taking part which gave us two strong groups who committed a lot of time to designing, creating and building their final entry.

“They had to build a mini, functioning satellite that can take temperature and pressure readings, as well as another function of the team’s design, giving them a primary and a secondary mission to complete – all this while falling with a parachute from 300m after a rocket launch.

“This meant learning to code, solder and sew to create the component parts.”

The final designs are reviewed later this month and the contest has attracted entries from 137 different teams across the country, although Springwood, a member of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, is one of only two schools in this region.

The winners will be decided by a panel of external judges, including members of the European Space Agency’s Education Department.

Mr Moore said: “The students have enjoyed the experience, with many wanting to carry on again next year. This means they will have the chance to learn from their experience and develop their skills further.

“Because there are many elements to the project, they have enjoyed learning a range of skills. They particularly enjoyed seeing their creation propelled into the sky on launch day, even if it was very wet and cold!”