Budding boffins built a simulation satellite to reach the finals of a national competition.

Teenage scientists at Felsted School wowed judges from the European Space Agency to make it into the top ten out of more than 200 schools and colleges.

Teams were challenged to build a CanSat – a real satellite the size of a coke can.

The Felsted students designed a CanSat capable of transmitting altitude, air pressure and velocity using a micro-computer and sensors to a base station on the ground, before landing and creating an ecosystem.

Computer science teacher Martin White said: "Our students designed and built the CanSat themselves, then rocket-launched it up to the troposphere to test it, and it has stood up very well.


"A parachute ensures it comes back down to earth safely, and once there a robotic arm extends to plant seeds in the ground nearby and then water them."

Headteacher Chris Townsend added: "The competition is very prestigious, and these finalists are considered among the best young computer scientists in the UK.

"It is very impressive that our young competitors have beaten projects created by students much older than themselves to reach the national final.

"They should also be immensely proud of themselves for achieving an Industrial Cadets Gold award for their work on this project."