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A team of five Year 9 Students from Marling School won a prestigious STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) competition for budding aerospace engineers last weekend.

The students originally took part in a whole year engineering challenge held at the school last month to design, construct and test a prototype aircraft.  They spent seven hours carefully constructing their model, using their design and scientific skills, and theirs was judged to be the best.  

They then went up against winning teams from six other local secondary schools for the grand final held at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on 14th July. The competition was judged by retired Astronaut Al Worden, who was the command module pilot for Apollo 15 and the first human to carry out a spacewalk in deep space.  

Bringing together mechanical design, electrical systems and aerodynamics, each team’s aircraft was scored for speed, target accuracy and innovation. The budding engineers and scientists from Marling School designed the fastest aircraft on the day which was also able to hit the target in each of the two flights allowed, in spite of the windy conditions.

Steve Berry, Head of Design & Technology, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our students’ innovation and enthusiasm has been recognised and rewarded.

“They competed against some very talented teams from other Gloucestershire schools and the skills and experiences they have gained will see them in good stead if they decide to pursue careers in engineering.” 

The event was sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the American aerospace, defence and advanced technology company.  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marillyn Hewson, together with Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, the chairman of the charity which runs the Airshow, presented the award to the delighted teenagers.

Read about the in-school competition here.


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