SIXTH Form students at Haydon Bridge High School won first place in a STEM competition.

Year 12 students Gabriel Marshall, Charlie Dodd, Aaron Green-Reader, and Year 13 students Ben Keyte and Aaron Walter won the UK Youth Rocketry (UK ROC) regional competition at Elvington Airfield, York.

The team built and launched a rocket, which had to meet a specific flight time.

Matthew Ainsley, the students' science and engineering teacher, said the aim of the event is to launch a pair of eggs into the air and return them safely to the ground intact.

Hexham Courant: ROCKET: The Wallace and Gromit inspired rocket. Image: Haydon Bridge High SchoolROCKET: The Wallace and Gromit inspired rocket. Image: Haydon Bridge High School

The flight time must be as close to 44 seconds as possible for the rocket to launch and return to the ground. 

Each team had three attempts and an average was calculated from the best two.

"With their first launch they managed the amazing time of 44.17 seconds with the eggs coming down intact," said Mr Ainsley.

"After that their confidence was in the stratosphere and averaged about 3.5 seconds off target time in other runs, making them the best team.

Hexham Courant: TAKE OFF: The rocket being launched. Image: Haydon Bridge High SchoolTAKE OFF: The rocket being launched. Image: Haydon Bridge High School

"The students used engineering and science skills to build the rocket, including using simulation software and 3D printing the parts. The design takes inspiration from the rocket made famous in a 'Grand Day Out', the first Wallace and Gromit animated film." 

A spokesperson for the team said: "With our success, we are setting up our own company called Space-Eggs and hope to make omelettes that are out of this world."

The students will compete in the National Final in Leicestershire on Wednesday, June 29.

Hexham Courant: LAUNCH: The rocket mid-flight. Image: Haydon Bridge High SchoolLAUNCH: The rocket mid-flight. Image: Haydon Bridge High School

"Their next challenge is to repeat their success during the National Final held at the British Model Flying Association headquarters, and if they win they'll represent the UK in the international final," Mr Ainsley said. 

For the national final, he said: "I think Egger will supply some polo shirts for us and supply a small amount of money to help transport costs and buy things like motors for the rocket." 

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Several companies, including Red Engineering, Haltwhistle Butchers and PDL Solutions gave financial support during the regional finals.

Mr Ainsley said the competition will hopefully become a regular school event. "It's a nice project for students to engage in STEM activities, and we want to encourage more mixed groups and younger students to participate."

Watch the take off here: