STEM Club Glide into National Finals

STEM Club Glide into National Finals

A team of budding engineers and scientists from Cheltenham Prep's STEM Club have soared into the National Finals of an engineering competition with their own unique glider design. Hear more from team members Archie McNeill and Willoughby Cooke.

"The Cheltenham Prep STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Club set off with gliders and poster presentations in hand to the Flying Start Challenge this week! Hosted by Churchdown School, eleven teams competed in the aerospace-themed engineering competition, four of them from Cheltenham Prep.

When we arrived, the Event Manager for Gloucestershire explained the terms of our challenge. There were to be five sections: an engineering challenge, a quiz on the STEM of flight, a chance to present our posters explaining the STEM of the glider we had designed and made, a practise flight and, finally, questions from the judges. 


Our engineering challenge was to build a life size model of landing gear as quickly as possible! We then had to fly our glider with the landing gear in place. There were a maximum of 600 points to be won: 200 for the glider flight, 150 for the engineering, 150 for the poster and 100 for the quiz. 

Our team was called the ‘Royale Flyers.’ Whilst we were a little disappointed with the flight of our glider, we felt we did well with the engineering challenge, quiz and poster.


There were to be four awards: one for best engineering performance, and three for overall performance. The winners were to be invited to the national final at the National Aviation Museum in Somerset, and given the opportunity to fly their gliders under a real Concord!

Finally, the moment arrived when the results were announced. We were so anxious to find out how we had done! We couldn’t believe it when won the award for best engineering performance and a place at the national final! We are now trying to improve our glider to do our very best… wish us luck!"

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