Local firms from the Island’s aerospace and space sectors are helping to propel Manx students towards a future career in engineering by supporting their entry to a prestigious rocket-building competition.
RLC Ronaldsway, Swagelok, SES, Cavendish Trust, Carrick Consulting and ManSat have each agreed to sponsor a team of secondary school students to participate in the UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge. This is the largest model rocket showcase in the UK and is run with the aim of inspiring students to enter the world of aerospace and science. Teams compete in regional heats with winners going through to a UK national competition.
Howard Quayle MHK, the Department’s Political Member with responsibility for the Space sector said: ‘The job prospects in the Isle of Man for skilled engineers are excellent: the industry is creating 80 new jobs a year and so the potential for the Island’s young people in this high-tech industry is very exciting. I am delighted that local businesses are supporting the next generation of potential engineers and scientists in this way to take part in this innovative competiton.
‘I am sure the students involved will benefit not only from taking part in such a highly technical challenge but also by gaining valuable insight into the opportunities the aerospace and space sectors can offer right here on their doorstep.
‘The Department supports other initiatives to develop future engineers such as the Awareness of Careers in Engineering (ACE) Project and will shortly be inviting admissions for an expanded Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering Programme at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education. This September’s intake will be double last year’s with places for 36 students available.’
The top prize in the Challenge is the opportunity to compete in an international fly-off at the world-famous Farnborough International Air Show against winning students from America and France, plus an all-expenses paid aerospace trip to Paris and Toulouse and a £1,000 cash prize for their school.
The five Isle of Man teams – three from St Ninian’s High School and one each from Ballakermeen and Castle Rushen High Schools – are challenged to build a rocket that will safely launch and return to earth two raw hen’s eggs within strict height, time and weight conditions. The technical, teamwork and business demands of the task are designed to encourage the students to work together in the same way that aeronautical engineers and other space scientists are required to do.