WMG Academy for Young Engineers – CanSat Project

Background

WMG Academy for Young Engineers is a college that offers education in science, technology, engineering and maths for 14 – 19-year-olds in Solihull.

Challenge

The school wanted to take part in the CanSat competition, which is supported by the European Space Agency. The object is to design and build a simulation of a real satellite that is dropped from a tethered balloon and conducts science experiments as it descends by parachute. However, the school had limited funds to support the competition entry and so reached out to Millennium Point Trust through the grants programme. The challenge for students is to design and construct all the major subsystems found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system, and fit them into the volume and shape of a soft drinks can. The satellite is required to gather data on parameters that the students have chosen to measure during its descent, for example, temperature and pressure, and transmit it in real-time to a ground station.

What impact has it made?

The students discovered how the science they learn in the classroom can be applied to real-world investigations. They learned how to solve practical engineering and science problems across a broad spectrum of activities including radio transmission, programming, parametric measurement, 3D printing and aeronautics. They also developed transferable skills.
The academy will benefit because this is an exciting competition that will raise the profile of our STEM curriculum.

Why did they receive a small grant??

The school identified an opportunity to elevate STEM learning for students. The proposal demonstrated the appetite and enthusiasm the students had for entering the competition and the impact the experience would have on them. Providing the school with the means to enable students to take part in the competition not only feeds their excitement for STEM but helps the school provide context to learnings in the classroom through engaging extra curricular experiences.

WMG Academy for Young Engineers Coventry is proud to be at the forefront of STEM education, and this grant from Millennium Point Charitable Trust will assist the academy’s endeavours in providing engaging and exciting education in science, technology, engineering and maths. The grant will fund a team of students aged 16-18 to design and build a simulation of a real satellite that fits inside a soft drink can, as part of a European Space Agency project. At WMG Academy Coventry, students are continually striving for excellence in STEM subjects and the grant from Millennium Point Charitable Trust will allow them, through their space project, to showcase their work at the national level while learning new skills.

Robert Hodge, Project Lead, WMG Academy for Young Engineers

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What We Funded
  • STEM materials for the submission
  • Travel to the competition
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