Bexhill students rewarded for radio link with astronaut Tim Peake

Students making contact with astronaut Tim Peake. St Richards Catholic College, Bexhill. SUS-160418-185206001
Students making contact with astronaut Tim Peake. St Richards Catholic College, Bexhill. SUS-160418-185206001
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Bexhill students who set up and hosted a live radio link with astronaut Tim Peake from the International Space Station (ISS) have won a major science award.

The six St Richard’s Catholic College pupils won the Institute of Physics prize for physics at the Big Bang South East science fair after talking to the astronaut as he passed over Bexhill in April.

Lucy Woolridge, Chris Varghese, Moira Mendoza, Luigi Salas, Ancy Augustine and Vita North were commended for their involvement in the St Richard’s Amateur Radio (StAR) Club which organised the link.

Big Bang South East chief judge Margaret Ajibode praised the students for their hard work, not just for the radio talk, but also the time spent behind-the-scenes.

“The students were very passionate about what they have been doing,” she said.

“Every year, the quality of the entries at the Big Bang improves.”

After establishing the StAR club, the students earned radio operator’s licences, spoke to people all over the world and hosted the radio link with Peake, with help from the Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS).

Dozens packed into St Richard’s hall for the chance to hear the students talk to the astronaut from Chichester, live from space on April 18.

Fourteen pupils asked Tim questions on a range of topics from the scientific to the more everyday queries such as, ‘what does food taste like in space?’

The link, which lasted for a few minutes, was the centrepiece of a whole science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) conference at the school, with presentations from the UK Space Agency and ARISS.

The fifth annual Big Bang fair, held at the South of England Showground, and the competition were organised by STEM Sussex, the outreach support department of the University of Brighton.

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