The Derby Grammar School physics team has triumphed in the UK Space Design Competition video round. One of only four winners across the UK, they are now preparing themselves for the national final in March.

The UK Space Design Competition (UKSDC) is open to secondary and sixth form students across the UK. It is a science and engineering challenge designed as a simulation of life in industry.

This year’s project for the video competition was entitled Mars Olympus Housing Addition 2087. Teams were invited to submit proposals in video format for an extension to a pre-existing martian base that could support 200 residents.

Each entry was judged on scientific accuracy, imagination and creativity, communication and enthusiasm and the effectiveness of meeting the brief.

Derby Grammar School’s team of five are all studying A Level Physics. They have worked on the project since the start of the Autumn term.

UK Space Design Competition team
UKSDC team – Charlie Pugh-Lewis, Ollie Wilson, Andrew Binnie, Ben Mandale and Elliot Butterworth

Charlie Pugh-Lewis, part of the team that also included Ollie Wilson, Ben Mandale, Andrew Binnie and Elliot Butterworth, said: “We decided that the most efficient way to cover 15 square metres was with a circle. It was also more efficient for withstanding the pressure on Mars.”

Ollie added: “One of the hardest parts of the challenge was that the base had to be constructed from concrete that was made on Mars from the materials available on or beneath the surface.”

The team were anxiously watching the UKSDC website for the finalists to be announced and were overjoyed to see their name amongst the four teams going through to the national final.

Mr Hills, Physics teacher at Derby Grammar School said: “STEM subjects are very popular here at Derby Grammar School, and we have a tradition of doing well in the UKSDC competition.

Our A Level Physicists are exceptional and I am delighted they have made it through to the national final. It is testament to the amount of research and work they have put into developing their entry.

I was particularly impressed with how they all pulled together as a team to develop their submission.”

The team travel to Imperial College, London for the national UKSDC final which takes place on March 17 and 18.