Last week, a group of Year 10 students had the fantastic opportunity to take part in the International Space Challenge at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe, organised by Durham County Council and Durham University.
The aim of the challenge was to showcase the links between languages and STEM subjects and how the combination can open up future career opportunities.
Students were tasked with a challenging brief to plan and design an international space hotel using their physics, design, maths and languages skills. As part of the brief, students had to create their designs to scale whilst correctly calculating the necessary electricity, food and oxygen requirements. Then, using their allotted budgets, students purchased their materials and pitched for investments in only French, German or Spanish.
Business language champions and STEM ambassadors were on hand to advise the students and help with engineering and language issues. There were also opportunities to have a taster session in Russian and meet with students to discuss pathways into astronomy, science and languages.
Our students' hotel, the SS Evergreen, was designed with a leaf-shaped solar panel to power the luxury residence. Other design features involved recycling waste, planting in and around the hotel to provide oxygen and a traditional reception area.
Ms Howliston, Head of MFL at Teesdale School, commented: "The challenge was an excellent opportunity for students to see the relevance of language learning in the world of science, engineering, technology and marketing."
Well done students and congratulations to Sienna Douglas for winning one of the spot prizes amid fierce competition among the fifteen teams from all over the county.