Mayor Visits School Aiming to be First in UK to Launch Satellites

A team of pupils at Egglescliffe School have welcomed Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to show him their work to become the first school in the UK to launch satellites into low orbit.

IT Teacher Adam Smith leads the project, which is being carried out by 26 pupils in the school’s Young Engineers Club. They are working with satellite manufacturing company AmbaSat and launching firm Interorbital to design, build and launch four satellites designed to perform tasks including monitoring radiation or CO2 levels.

It is hoped the satellites will be ready to launch in September, with the satellites being sent to California for Interorbital to send into space.

The data collected by the satellites will then be streamed to a data dashboard for students and staff in the school to interpret and use across a range of subjects, from geography to the sciences.

The Mayor visited the school as part of National Careers Week to learn about the project, backed by funding from the Mayor’s TeesValleyCareers.com initiative.

Mayor Houchen said: “It was great to meet these inspiring students and learn about their plan to launch these satellites, as well as all of the other brilliant things they have been working on to gain practical experience of engineering.

“Having a full and well-rounded knowledge of what jobs are out there is vitally important for our young people and getting them involved in science, technology, and engineering will help underline the fantastic careers in the sector right here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“As well as having fun while learning, they’ll also be securing a UK first, proving once again that we are leading the way in careers education.”

Egglescliffe School head Simon White said: “We’re incredibly passionate about supporting our students in the STEM industries, as we know what a massive part it plays in the Tees Valley’s economy.

“We’re always looking for inventive and imaginative ways to get our students hands-on with these subjects, so they can see the practical effects and applications of the theory they also learn. This satellite project is a brilliant way of doing that, while adding value to many other subjects.”

Other projects being carried out by the Young Engineers Club and supported by the Mayor and Combined Authority include the design, build and launch of their own rocket as part of the UK Rocketry Competition in York, and the creation of a robot to complete challenges for the First Lego League robotics competition.