I hope you are all doing well!
To provide a bit of an update, we’ve decided to not have any formal entry date for schools at this time so as to allow as many teams as possible to participate. The only deadline is that any launch takes place before the end of August 2016 so that we have time to validate any results before the prize-giving in October. However, we would appreciate it, and recommend that, schools formally register no later than the end of May so as to give us time to mentor teams as well as teach them about ballooning and engineering in general.
As an additional bonus from QinetiQ, we should now be able to invite any school that enters before the Close of Play on 29th of April to MOD Boscombe Down near the end of June for a morning or afternoon visit to our world-leading Environmental Test Facility which has the largest climactic testing chamber in Europe and is capable of testing equipment at all temperatures naturally found on Earth. As part of this opportunity, you will be able to put your design into one of our smaller chambers where it will be exposed to the temperature profile that it will experience during a balloon ascent. This is a unique opportunity for teams to visit a professional testing environment and learn more about working in engineering.
If you do decide to enter before the end of April and are interested in this visit opportunity, please also provide a list of student names (no more than 6) and the accompanying teacher’s details (name, nationality, direct or mobile telephone number) with your entry form so that we can begin the process of booking people onto the site. As this is an active military base, there are several security protocols that must be followed and they require several weeks to complete. Unfortunately, this means any students and teachers visiting must be UK nationals.
Finally, you might be wondering what that logo at the top of this article is doing there. We are delighted to announce that the University of Southampton has generously agreed to provide half of the competition prize fund and get involved in the contest.
We hope to be able to announce more about our partnership with the University of Southampton in the near future and we'd like to thank them once again for their kind support.
Thanks for reading!