Students from Sweyne Park School won the competition, which took place at Stow Maries Aerozone on 23 May, while the Stewards’s Academy team came third. As the winning school, Sweyne Park will now compete against teams from America, France and Japan in the International Finals at the International Paris Air Show on the 22 to 23 June.
Both teams had entered the competition as part of part of the Essex Employment and Skills Board’s STEM and Industry Programme (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
They competed against 11 teams from ten schools across the country. As well as building rockets, they had a chance to meet and learn from experts in the field of space from companies including Lockheed Martin, Surrey Satellite Technology and Oxford Space Systems. The students were encouraged by the employers to take part in events such as the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge, which will help them to build the skills for a future job in the industry.
Suzanne Jude, Chair of the Essex Employment and Skills Board said: “We are delighted with Sweyne Park School and Steward's Academy School’s achievements.
The STEM and Industry Programme gives us an opportunity to interact with local schools in the area, and encourage students to consider the multitude of career opportunities available in STEM industries. There are many local and exciting STEM opportunities for young people in Essex, and the programme enables employers to work closely with schools to ensure that they have a pipeline of young people with the skills they need to develop and grow their future business.”
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Skills, Infrastructure and the Digital Economy, said: “Events such as this give Essex students access and the opportunity to interact and learn from local employers around what skills they need in the future to secure employment. I hope all students enjoyed the day and took some learning from it and wish Sweyne Park luck in June against the international teams.”