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Essex schools flying high in Quadcopter challenge

28 June 2016

Boswells school in Chelmsford have claimed first place in the regional final of Raytheon’s Quadcopter Challenge.

Three Essex schools took part in the heat: Burnt Mill Academy and Stewards Academy from Harlow and Boswells from Chelmsford. Boswells School, will now compete in the national finals which will be held at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome in Purleigh, Essex on 30 June.

Teams from the schools were provided with an identical kit to design and engineer parts to create a ‘quadcopter’, a remote controlled flying device. A nominated pilot from each team then had to steer the drone through a challenging obstacle course.

The regional finals, which took place at Burnt Mill Academy on Saturday 18 June, were part of a national competition organised by Raytheon. Local heats took place close to Raytheon’s other major sites in Broughton, Glenrothes, Waddington, and Gloucester.

The annual competition is supported by the Essex Employment and Skills Board’s (ESB) Education and Industry Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) programme. The programme supports 30 schools to develop a pipeline of skilled young people ready for industry in these priority skills sectors.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, said: “This competition is a fantastic way of getting young people excited about technology. I am delighted that so many talented students took part. This exciting challenge brings industry and education together to develop skills for the future.  I wish Boswells every success in this week’s national final.”

Suzanne Jude, Head of Strategy and STEM Lead at Raytheon UK and Chair of the ESB said, “Working with schools, helping to create courses at universities, attending major outdoor events such as airshows, organising competitions and challenges all help to kindle a passion for STEM subjects in young people and develop a future generation with the right skill set to drive the UK’s technology agenda.”