Aeronautical Velocity Challenge: Arndell team qualifies for State Finals

PREPARATIONS: The students refining their rocket which went on to win the Western Sydney Hub Semi Finals at Western Sydney University.
PREPARATIONS: The students refining their rocket which went on to win the Western Sydney Hub Semi Finals at Western Sydney University.

FIVE budding scientists from Arndell Anglican College will be competing against the best in the state to construct and fly a compressed air bottle rocket at the State Finals of the NSW Aeronautical Velocity Challenge.

The State Finals will take place in Wollongong on Friday, June 10, when the students will compete to become state champions.

The Arndell students - Brin Liddell, Olivia Vella, Matthew Holman, Larissa Read and Paige Harding, all in year 8 - will be challenged to successfully launch a compressed air bottle rocket to achieve a maximum velocity whilst travelling a maximum distance.

FINALISTS: The Arndell team won the Western Sydney Hub Semi Finals and will now compete at the State Finals.

FINALISTS: The Arndell team won the Western Sydney Hub Semi Finals and will now compete at the State Finals.

In order to make it into the State Finals, the students faced-off against teams from three other Western Sydney schools at the Western Sydney Hub Semi Finals at Western Sydney University, taking out first prize with a record-breaking score.

Arndell industrial arts teacher, Jennifer Daly, said the Semi Finals were both fun and challenging, with the students battling the clock to construct and refine their rockets in time for the launch.

“Arndell Novice Team 1 launched their first attempt at 85 metres and from there went from strength to strength,” she told the Gazette.

“Following adjustments of fuel (water) and angle-of-flight, subsequent launches reached 91 metres and then 95.7 metres, taking out the win for the day and a current record across the state’s Semi Final wins for the Western Sydney region.”

The Challenge is run by the Institute of Industrial Arts Teachers Education (IIATE) and is a STEM initiative focussing on addressing Australia’s shortage of scientists and engineers.

LIFT OFF: The Arndell team's rocket took-out a record, travelling 95.7 metres.

LIFT OFF: The Arndell team's rocket took-out a record, travelling 95.7 metres.

The Arndell team prepared for the Challenge during their engineering classes.

“It’s the first year for our school to run engineering as a mandatory component for year 8, which is really exciting for our school,” Ms Daly said.

“The students have been preparing since term 1, week 5. All the preparation before the competition is making and testing models, making finished shapes and redesigning.

“The planning is very important for getting the finished shape, the design and aerodynamics set, but it really can come down to what happens on the day and constructing it on the day.”