Technology challenge launches into space

Twenty-eight teams of students packed into the gym at Marlborough Science Academy, St Albans, to take this year’s Rotary Technology Challenge.

The event is run by Rotary in Harpenden and the three St Albans Rotary Clubs to encourage interest in science and engineering. Each year’s challenge is different but always aims at testing the ingenuity and technical creativity of the participating teams, which are entered by secondary schools in the St Albans District.

This year the students, working in teams of four, were tasked with designing and building a piece of equipment to launch a space capsule. Each finished model was then tested against a rigorous set of criteria including the height reached by the capsule, the accuracy of its flight line and the extent to which it then parachuted back into the recovery zone.

Technology teachers are encouraged to enter teams into three categories – defined by key stage 3, key stage 4 and years 12 and 13. Although the core task is similar for all groups, extra hurdles are added to make the challenge progressively more difficult for the older students.

Schools interested in taking part in next year’s challenge – in March 2023 – should contact the Secretary of Rotary in Harpenden at for more information.

Photo: Trying out the completed model on the test rig


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