Perse pupils blast off with International Space Challenge
7 Mar 2019
The science, engineering and foreign language skills of Year 10 pupils’ proved to be out of this world when they took on the International Space Challenge.
With the Russian space agency having announced plans to build a space hotel on the International Space Station,Perse pupils were set the task of designing a rival space hotel for a European consortium.
Working in groups, the pupils had to come up with a design which was smart and practical, but also featured imaginative ideas that would work in space, calculating the cost of materials and then building models. Finally, they had to pitch their project to a Dragons’ Den-style panel of ‘European investors’ using only French, Spanish or German.
The event was brought to The Perse by Business Language Champions, an organisation promoting modern foreign languages by demonstrating their importance in the workplace.
Prior to making and marketing their model space hotels, the pupils heard from four speakers who use languages other than just English in their work, including Jack Lidgley, a research scientist with eOsphere, who explained his work with satellite imagery which helps farmers in China.
Perse Director of Modern Foreign Languages Pierre Pillet, who helped organise the event, was pleased with how the day went.
He said: “The idea was to make the pupils realise that science and languages can be linked in the workplace. If you’re going to be working in science, you’re often going to work in international teams, so languages are important even though science is the first point of focus.
“The judges thought the pupils were really quick off the mark and were impressed by the designs and marketing as well as the level of engagement. The pupils really enjoyed it and discovered a lot, so it was really positive event.”