Burnt Mill and Stewards to fight it out in Quadcopter Challenge

Lifestyle / Thu 16th Jun 2016 pm30 04:04pm

FOUR Essex schools, Burnt Mill Academy and Stewards Academy, Harlow, Boswells School Academy, Chelmsford and Tabor Academy, Braintree, will be competing in the Regional Final of the 2016 Raytheon UK Quadcopter Challenge on Saturday 18 June to be hosted by Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow with the winning school going forward to represent Essex at the finals of the national competition to be held at Stow Maries Aerodrome, Chelmsford at the end of June.

Following the successful pilot last year with Essex County Council, fourteen schools around each of the company’s major UK sites: Broughton, Glenrothes, Waddington, Harlow and Gloucester are taking part in this national competition to build a fully functioning four-bladed multi-rotor, remotely piloted air system (commonly known as a quadcopter). Each school has been given an identical kit to create a unique quadcopter by modifying the flight characteristics and customising various components such as the frame design, under carriage and canopy. Nominated pilots in each team also have to develop skills to navigate the quadcopter through a course with obstacles along the way. To help them become more confident, they have access to simulation software to practice their technique in preparation for the competition.

Designed specifically for year eight and nine students, the Quadcopter challenge is part of Raytheon’s commitment to fostering student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

“Raytheon UK provides a comprehensive programme of STEM activities throughout the year in an effort to inspire the next generation to choose STEM careers,” said Suzanne Jude, Head of Strategy and STEM Lead at Raytheon UK. “Working with schools, helping to create courses at universities, attending major outdoor events such as airshows, organising competitions and challenges all help to kindle a passion for STEM subjects in young people and develop a future generation with the right skill set to drive the UK’s technology agenda.”

“Science and research are major contributors to the prosperity of the UK and the Government believes that we need high levels of skills in science, technology, engineering and maths,” said The Rt. Hon. Sir Simon Burns MP. “The Raytheon UK Quadcopter Challenge helps young people to develop skills in these areas and I am delighted to offer it my support. I was particularly pleased to learn that Boswells School is participating in the challenge and wish them every success.”

The National final will take place on Thursday, 30 June, at Stow Maries Aerodrome, Chelmsford, Essex, when 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 challenge is the creation of Raytheon’s STEM ambassadors who are from various backgrounds including Engineering, Project Management, Finance, Maintenance and Human Resources. These ambassadors support after school clubs and lessons and offer advice in the design, including aerodynamics, autonomy, program management, microelectromechanical systems, control systems and battery technology.

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