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WMG Academy students blast off to international space competition

Picture shows students from the WMG Academy CanSat teamStudents at the WMG Academy for Young Engineers are preparing for lift-off after being named UK national champions in the European Space Agency’s CanSat competition. Having launched themselves to the top spot in the UK, WMG Academy’s Team Phoenix 2 will soon blast off to the European finals.

Inspired by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander mission, the young space explorers from Team Phoenix 2 have designed and manufactured a suborbital satellite capable of measuring and collecting temperature and air pressure data whilst looking for signs of life on a planet by sampling surface dust – all contained within the size and shape of a soft-drinks can. Launched to a height of 1,000 feet, the satellite descends, launching an integrated parachute before transmitting data back to the team at the command centre.

As part of the competition, the students, all aged between 14 and 17 years old and studying a combination of maths, science and engineering, have produced designs and prototypes, submitted testing data and launch reports, and presented to a team of experts, setting themselves apart from over 250 other entries and 12 finalists to take the title of UK national champions.

Commenting on the team’s success, WMG Academy Chief Executive, Stewart Tait, said: Our students are clearly high-flyers with ambitions that are out of this world. We could not be more proud of Oliver, Joshua, Callum, Amneet, Timurs and George who have worked so hard to design an innovative and successful can-sized satellite.

“This year’s CanSat project was launched by Bob Hodge who has been an integral part of WMG Academy since we opened in 2014. Unfortunately, after a long illness, Bob sadly passed away just a few weeks ago and there is no better way to pay tribute to the time and energy Bob invested in the lives of our young engineers than continuing his legacy of inspiring the next generation through projects like CanSat.

"We are looking forward to taking Team Phoenix2 to the European finals to showcase the incredible engineering talent of WMG Academy students on the international stage.”

Notes to Editors:

  • WMG Academy for Young Engineers is part of the WMG Academy Trust, consisting of two University Technical Colleges (UTC) in Coventry and Solihull. The Trust was founded by the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and works closely with WMG at the University of Warwick.
  • WMG Academy offers an innovative curriculum of STEM subjects, working with local and national employers to deliver a ‘business-like, business-led’ pathway of study to prepare students for life beyond the classroom.
  • Opening in 2014, WMG Academy Coventry was first-rated Good by Ofsted in 2017 and again in 2022. WMG Academy Solihull opened in 2016 and is also rated Good by Ofsted.
  • WMG Academy has seen local, national and international success before in engineering projects including F1 in Schools, Greenpower, the Royal Navy UTC Challenge and the 2021 and 2022 CanSat competitions.
  • The European CanSat Competition is an ESA Education project that promotes STEM skills amongst young European students through project-based learning. A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The team’s challenge is to fit all the major subsystems of a satellite inside this minimal volume, launched by a small rocket up to an altitude of 1 km.

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Tue 16 May 2023, 14:23 | Tags: WMG Academy STEM Education