During the week 9th-13th February, a team of Engineering Management Apprentices from the Defence Equipment and Support establishment at Abbeywood, Bristol came to Dean Close School to work with groups of Year 10 pupils.

The Science Technology Engineering & Maths (STEM) days focused on the theory and manufacture of Rockets with a variety of propulsion methods. This saw the pupils, who study both Design Technology and Physics at GCSE, apply some basic principles and then make and test a series of rockets. The propulsion systems explored were water pressure, chemical (vinegar and bicarb) as well as solid state rocket motors. After looking into each method the teams test fired to see who was the most successful, on the school playing fields. Results were varied but some reached an impressive 100m in the air, returning to the ground under a parachute; all bar the one that landed in the Headmaster’s garden and the one that rerouted itself via the brook!

The workshops were a great opportunity to meet and quiz the apprentices who are from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. The pupils were able to gain an insight into possible future career paths and have an informative and enjoyable day getting to grips with a little rocket science.