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Harlow schools up for the Quadcopter challenge!

News / Wed 1st Jul 2015 at 04:38pm

AS part of its ongoing programme to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers to students, Raytheon UK is hosting its first quadcopter challenge final in association with Essex County Council on Saturday 4 July at 10.45 am at Burnt Mill Academy in Harlow.

The final will take place between teams from Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow, Stewards Academy, Harlow, Tabor Academy, Braintree, and The Boswells School, Chelmsford.

Since January, year nine and ten students from these four Essex schools have been involved in a challenge to build a fully operational four-bladed multi-rotor remotely piloted air system (commonly known as a quadcopter). Each school has created a unique quadcopter by tweaking the flight characteristics and customising various components such as the frame design, undercarriage and canopy.

On Saturday, the students will put their creations through a series of challenges, designed by Raytheon UK, to test the designs for innovation, speed, agility and accuracy. The winning team will then be invited to show their winning quadcopter and attend a formal presentation ceremony at the 2015 Royal International Air Tattoo held at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire in a few weeks’ time.

Suzanne Jude, head of strategy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at Raytheon UK comments, “There’s always more to do in this area and companies like Raytheon UK are leading the way by inspiring the next generation into STEM careers while growing the UK’s engineering capabilities nationally and regionally. Whether it’s working with schools or helping to create courses at universities, Raytheon UK is actively helping to create a future workforce that’s not only employable but also has the right skillset to set them on a course for success and help to position the UK at the forefront of competitiveness.

The challenge has been organised by Raytheon’s STEM ambassadors who have volunteered from a variety of backgrounds across the company and have skillsets in engineering, IT, project management, finance, commercial and business development. These ambassadors provide support to the challenge through attending after school clubs and lessons and offering advice in the design, including aerodynamics, autonomy, physics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), control systems and battery technology.

Cllr Penny Channer, Essex County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure, said: “This sort of event really brings to life STEM subjects for students. It is tremendously useful but also great fun for all involved. We hope that by running things like the Quadcopter Challenge, we can attract more Essex youngsters into STEM subjects providing us with a well-qualified workforce for the future.”

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