Bede's Hosts Annual Galactic Space Challenge 2023
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Bede’s Hosts Annual Galactic Space Challenge 2023

On Saturday 28th January 2023, Bede’s Senior School once again hosted the annual Galactic Challenge event – a space design competition for Years 5 to 8 that simulates an engineering industry-style environment. The competition is designed to give the pupils the chance to experience what it would be like to work in a large organisation, such as NASA.

This year, Bede’s hosted 120 children from 12 schools; Bede’s Prep, Blatchington Mill, Cardinal Newman, Dulwich Prep, Lancing College Prep, Pennthorpe, Prebendal, Rose Hill, Shoreham Academy, Skippers Hill, Sompting Abbotts and The Schools at Somerhill. The children were divided into five mixed teams.

Galactic Space Challenge 2023
Galactic Space Challenge 2023

The pupils were tasked with answering a detailed RFP (request for proposal) in the form of a presentation, following a press release from the Foundation Society. For the mission at hand, the pupils had to design and develop a new space settlement – a luxury lunar space holiday resort.

The pupils faced their first challenge of the day by electing a Company President, Vice President of Engineering, Vice President of Marketing as well as a Head of Structural, Operational, Human, Automation and Business departments. Once divided into their specific sectors, the pupils faced challenges such as protecting their space settlement from harsh space environments, incorporating mechanisms to counteract low moon gravity, and developing methods to generate profit, despite expensive building costs. Throughout the challenge, they were given guidance from Bede’s Senior School pupils, who posed as technical advisors and CEOs.

In the afternoon, the participants’ parents and guardians arrived to see the teams’ presentations whilst enjoying refreshments. All of the teams produced innovative design concepts that included solutions for renewable energy, sustainable food and cleverly repurposing materials. After a tough few rounds of witty, humorous and eloquently pitched presentations, and significant deliberation from the Judging Panel, ‘Astrodyne Delta’ (comprised of pupils from Bede’s Prep, Cardinal Newman, Rose Hill and Skippers Hill) came out victorious with their design. What particularly captivated the judges was their use of creative ideas when maximising revenue through luxury holiday packages.

Upper Sixth pupil Ellie Abel, who was an advising CEO on the day, says she, like many of the volunteers, gained a great deal from the experience, ‘One of my personal highlights was when I and another volunteer were explaining the concepts of biofuels to a young boy and seeing how innovative thoughts and curiosity drove him to a renewable solution. All of which brought a smile to my face.’

Bede’s Senior School Maths Teacher, and CEO of Galactic Challenge, Bill Richards, commented: ‘It is terrific to see the interest in the Galactic Challenge return to pre-Covid levels, with a number of new schools participating this year. Seeing the enthusiasm of the students, both those competing and our own helping to run the event makes it one of my highlights of the year.’

See Bede’s Senior School’s online listing here.