On Saturday 24th November the University of Liverpool hosted the regional heats of this year’s UK Space Design Competition and NSC Chairman Bob Morris was one of the judges. The Competition is for school pupils in years 10 to 13 and is designed to encourage and stimulate an interest in space and engineering. The origins of the competition go back to the USA in 1983 and in 2008 Dr Randall Perry of Imperial College, London set up the Space Science and Engineering Foundation to run the competition from the college. The winners of the UK competition take part in the International Competition in the USA and in 2010 the UK team of 13 won in Houston. The UK competition has grown such that the 2017-2018 programme consisted of ten regional heats. There is also a Galactic Challenge for ages 10 -14.
For the heat in Liverpool the participants had to design a base on Europa. It was set in the year 2118, was to be constructed below the surface and had to house 4,000 permanent and 400 transient persons. The aim of this research base was to explore the sub-surface ocean and search for life. The winners of the heat was a team comprised of pupils from West Kirby Grammar School and St Edwards College.
Bob Morris commented “I was very impressed by the quality of the designs and their presentation. The pupils arrived at 9am this morning, were handed a detailed Request for Proposal and information describing companies that they should choose and then a list of subcontractors. They had to organise themselves into a team, pick a management structure, allocate work areas and produce a design that included a project plan and costing. Finally, at 6pm, they had to present the design to a panel and be questioned on it. This is a wonderful competition and it would be great to see every school in our region taking part in the future. Good luck to our region’s winners in the final in London!”
For more information on The UK Space Design Competition see www.uksdc.org