Wednesday, 13 September 2017

UK Space Design Competition

 I am very excited to be on board the inter-stellar expedition that is The UK Space Design Competition as patron. The challenge of navigating space has always demanded a wonderful fusion of ideas from across the sciences.

In an age when our education system too often compartmentalises and isolates subjects, I think one of the exciting things about the UK Space Design Competition is that it allows students to see that biology, chemistry and physics are all contributing to how we venture out into space. My own subject of mathematics has always been one of the most powerful tools for understanding and predicting what is out there and how to explore it. Trigonometry for example wasn’t invented to torture school children with challenging problems in exams about sins and cosines. It was the best way for the ancient world to explore the heavens while stuck on the surface of the Earth. The UK Space Design Competition gives students a real insight into why the tools they are learning in the classroom are precisely the ones that we will need as we venture away from our planet.

But as well as giving students an appreciation of the importance of the science they are learning, I also think that they will be tapping into the creative arts too for inspiration. It was artists in Russia who began dreaming about going into space that inspired the cosmonauts to make it a reality as anyone who visited the wonderful Cosmonauts exhibition in the Science Museum last year would have leant. And if you look at some of the past entries to the UK Space Design Competition, you can really see students fusing their artistic visions with the hard-core science they are learning.

This is why I am so happy to lend my support as patron to the UK Space Design Competition. It is a competition that helps students understand the hugely interconnected nature of the subjects they are learning and I’m sure will be the launchpad for some stellar careers in the future.

To find out more about how to get involved with the competition check out the competition's website