The Perse School

‘Space capsule launchers’ win awards for Perse pupils in Rotary Technology Challenge

8 Feb 2018

Perse pupils designed, built and tested their own ‘space capsule launchers’ in just three hours to win awards at the annual Rotary Club Technology Challenge.

Twelve Year 9 students split into groups of four to take on 11 other teams from Cambridge schools in the competition.

Each year a new engineering task is set, combining woodwork and electronics skills with the application of the laws of physics, to give pupils a taste of the challenges facing engineers in the real world where both time and budgets may be limited.

This time participants had to put together a ‘space capsule launcher’ from scratch during the time limit using a limited kit of materials, while also producing a portfolio of their design work.

The space capsule and cargo were represented by an airflow golf ball and the carrier vehicle by a cardboard cup.

Once built, the capsule had to be launched vertically to a height of three metres through a hoop using a trigger mechanism over a distance of one metre.

The capsule then had to separate from the carrier vehicle after reaching the three-metre height and land as near as possible to the launch point.

All Perse teams performed well, but Perse Team 1 (Tom Davies, Alex Fraser, Charlie Toff and Toby Collins) clinched the design and innovation trophy, while Perse Team 3 (Ewan Smith, Rohan Sandhu, Nikhil Karun and Josh Seed) won the overcoming difficulties award.

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