Students take on Downham Market Rotary Club’s space launcher challenge
Students’ creative abilities were put to the test at Downham Rotary’s annual technology tournament on Wednesday.
About 50 pupils attended the event at Downham Town Hall and were tasked with designing and building a launcher to fire a space capsule into orbit.
The youngsters from Downham Academy, Iceni Academy, St Clement’s High School and Witchford Village College near Ely worked in teams of four to take on the challenge.
Rotarian Stuart Dimmock said: “The aim of the tournaments is to challenge students’ creative skills in a ‘fun way’ to better their understanding of design, technology and simple engineering.”
The capsule, which was represented by a golf air ball, had to be launched vertically, using a trigger release mechanism at least one metre from the launcher.
The capsule had to reach a minimum height of three metres, before returning as near as possible to the launch site.
Teams were supplied with dowels, tape, elastic bands and access to drills and glue.
Four hours were allotted for teams to plan, design, construct and test fire their models before the ‘live firing’.
At the end of the allotted time, every group had produced a working model.
Team prizes were awarded according to age range, and winners’ medals were presented to St Clement’s High School and Witchford Village College, which also won the best overall team award.
The tournament was sponsored by InterGen, a global power company, and supported by RAF Marham.