Yesterday, four of our Year 10 students, Dewald Roos, Elliott Gilkes-Strong, Andrei Mosora and Ethan Wilson, travelled to London to attend the Annual UTC Conference, an event hosted by the Baker Dearing Trust for UTC Principals, Governance and Employer Partners.
Every year they run a competition for UTCs to enter and this year's challenge was to present a project that 'the European Space Agency might be interested in pursuing'.
Immediately after the opportunity was announced the four boys set to work researching an incredibly daunting and complex project into Nuclear Fusion Impulse Reaction Drives.
The group created a two-minute video, which was submitted as their entry for the competition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MusZSQ4GljU). The team were shortlisted down to a group comprised of UTC Portsmouth, Ron Dearing UTC in Hull and Bristol Technology & Engineering Academy.
The three colleges presented their projects in greater detail to ESA astronaut Tim Peake and numerous employer partners from a number of UTCs. Hull presented sophisticated mathematics needed to change the trajectory of an Earth-bound asteroid, Bristol submitted a gamma radiation detector that could be used to protect astronauts on a trip to Mars. All projects were subjected to Q&A from Tim and the employers.
Tim showed the three entry videos before announcing UTC Portsmouth as the winners.
As their prize, Tim has organised to send our four students, courtesy of BAE Systems, to ESTEC (European Space Research and Technology Centre) in the Netherlands. The ESA has sites in several European countries, but the ESTEC in Noordwijk is the largest. It is the ESA's technical heart - the incubator of the European space effort - where most ESA projects are born and where they are guided through the various phases of development, and Tim has organised for a full and intimate tour of the facility.
Head of Science at UTC Portsmouth, Damien Edmondson said: “To our students, a massive congratulations. They have demonstrated every STEM habit we wish our students to embody throughout this project and have been rewarded!".