Building and launching rockets was all part of the school week for students at one Feltham academy.
Pupils at Space Studio West London (SSWL) had a blast taking part in a workshop organised by Starchaser, a UK-based space tourism company.
SSWL is home to 300 students aged between 14 to 18-years-old who regard the academy as the final frontier for a top class education with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).
There is an emphasis on hands-on and project-based learning and the innovative teaching model in place allows the school to nurture the engineers, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and aerospace experts of the future.
Class sizes at Space Studio West London are kept to no more than 25 pupils and there are currently places available for Year 10 and Year 12 students for the academic year beginning September 2023. Come and see the school for yourself, enjoy a tour, meet staff and pupils at the open evening, December 5th at 5.30pm. To find out more, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Bennett, founder of Starchaser, has been organising annual rocket-building workshops for students at the Letchworth Avenue school for the last 7 years. The aim is to take areas of physics and chemistry and explain their use in rocket building.
Mr Bennett founded Starchaser in 1992 and the company has designed and built several prototype rocket systems for space tourism vehicles. Starchaser’s rocket NOVA 1 launched in 2001 from Morecambe Bay and holds the UK record for the biggest successful rocket launch fired from the British mainland.
Commenting on his recent visit to SSWL, Mr Bennett told the Hounslow Herald: “The workshop at SSWL sees the students build a rocket which they then launch. The children had a great time and they enjoyed using their love of science to create their rockets. The workshop is a great way of getting students involved with STEM. It’s important to encourage more children to get into STEM subjects as the UK needs more scientists and engineers and we need more people to make things.”
Other space-related opportunities at SSWL include the annual 10-day US visit to NASA which provides students with an experience that is out of this world. Included in the itinerary are behind-the-scenes visits to Johnson & Kennedy Space Centers, where students liaise with scientists and engineers.
Space Studio West London’s resources are extensive and varied: highlights include the flight simulator rooms and the fully equipped engineering room including CAD/CAM.
Students regularly secure places at prestigious Russell Group universities and Cambridge.
Earlier this year, a third of A-level Mathematics students achieved achieved a grade A* to B.
Year 11 students also enjoyed impressive GCSE success with 76% achieving Grade 4+ and 52% of students achieved Grade 5+ in English and Maths, 80% of students passed Maths and 88% passed English.
There are also plenty of opportunities for talent to flourish: Student Suvarunika Thirumaran, 17, was awarded a ‘Most Ambitious’ TEDI-London award after participating in a Thinking Ahead: Light Up! Programme.
Close links with employers in the aerospace, science and technology sectors support students well with preparation for their future working life. Surrey Satellite technology limited, British Airways, BP, Heathrow, the National Space Academy and National Physical Laboratories are just a handful of the businesses they work with.
Principal Andy Morgan said: “Space Studio is a calm, safe and productive learning environment where pupils work collaboratively with each other, their teachers and industry mentors. Expectations are high. Opportunities for project-based learning with industry professionals, and work placement are numerous.’’