SIX teenagers are preparing for lift-off after reaching the UK final of an out-of-this-world competition run by the European Space Agency.
The team, all students at WMG Academy Coventry, have designed and built a small satellite which will collect environmental data and relay it in real time to a ground station.
They are launching the satellite as part of the ESA’s CanSat competition, which will see them competing in the national final in April, with the chance to take part in the European final in the summer if they win.
Team member Jakub Wozniak, 16, said: “I’m very excited and looking forward to the final. To be doing so well is extraordinary and I think we have a good chance of succeeding in the final.
“It’s been a great honour to work with such talented people and I feel that our ability to work efficiently as a team was the main contributing factor to our success.”
The team’s satellite is the size of a soft drinks can and will measure temperature, air pressure and acceleration on its descent. Students have so far tested the parachute in a wind tunnel and conducted drone flight tests. They are due to carry out a rocket launch in March, ahead of the national final in April.
All students involved in the project are studying a combination of maths, science and engineering at WMG Academy Coventry. The team was recently awarded an £800 grant from the Millennium Point Charitable Trust to help fund the project.
Team member Holly Hooper, 18, said: “It’s an excellent achievement and being part of the team has been a great experience. We’ve put a lot of work in and I hope we’re successful at nationals.”
Matt Brady, Principal of WMG Academy Coventry, said: “Our students are certainly high-flyers and I’m incredibly proud of the hard work they have put into the CanSat project over the last six months.
“At WMG Academy, we have been recognised nationally and internationally many times for our success in science, engineering and design but this is the first time we have taken on a space project, so to make it through to the national final is truly impressive.”
WMG Academy Coventry specialises in science, technology, engineering and maths for 14-19 year olds. The academy offers a careers-led education, working in partnership with the University of Warwick and businesses including Rolls-Royce, National Grid, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Meggitt, Cummins, Severn Trent, Sarginsons, WMG and Aston Martin.