Jamie Hill (Upper Sixth) reports:

On Saturday 7 December, Eltham College sent a team to the regional heats of the UK Space Design Competition at Imperial College London. Fourteen Eltham College students were paired with students from four other schools to form a large team.

The task was a challenging one. We had to design a mining colony inside the inner asteroid belt in 2077, taking into account a series of strict requirements, all while creating a presentation to be judged on at the end. Working with people who we had only met a few hours before, the team had only a few hours to create a very intricate design, which would have to hold up to scrutiny to industry specialists. The competition was designed to mimic the future space industry, with a mock corporate hierarchy and the organisation of the team into key departments. Special attention also had to be paid to construction times and the cost of our proposal.

The day was particularly gruelling, we arrived at Imperial at 8.15am, and stayed until almost 10.00pm. I wish to extend my personal thanks to all those who competed, giving up a Saturday for a demanding day of Physics is not how most people would want to spend their time, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Although we were not successful (a large oversight was present in our heat dissipation system – or our lack of one), I was very pleased to see so many of our Lower Sixth students take leading roles in their departments. I wish them the best of luck next year, and I am sure they will be just as successful, if not more successful. I also hope that those who are currently working on a video entry to the competition at the time of writing have success to report in these pages.

Special thanks should be given to the various members of the Physics department who also gave up their Saturday, especially to Dr. Cianciaruso, who watched all the presentations and stayed until almost 10.00pm until the judgement was announced, and to Mr. Hindocha who helped me as team leader with putting together a team this year.