Cardinal Langley RC High School wins nation-wide STEM challenge

Beating dozens of schools in the 2021 Quadcopter Final to take home the national title for Manchester

MANCHESTER, (July 1, 2021) - Students from Cardinal Langley RC High School have triumphed in Raytheon Technologies nationwide Quadcopter Challenge, which offers hundreds of pupils from around the country the chance to show off their engineering skills.

In the national final, the team named “Stop Droning On” beat five rival teams from across England, Scotland, and Wales after completing a series of challenging tasks and impressing expert judges on their engineering feats and innovative ideas for space exploration.

During the challenge, pupils were asked to use their science and maths skills to design a four-bladed, remotely piloted air system – commonly known as a quadcopter.

This year’s theme, “Mission to Mars,” asked students to push the limits on current quadcopter designs, tasked with thinking of creative ideas to overcome the challenging Martian conditions with adaptations made to the design to undertake key missions on the Red Planet.

Along with 20 other schools and air cadet teams, the team at Cardinal Langley RC High School has spent months designing and building their quadcopters. The challenge culminated in a day of competition where young people from all over the country presented their quadcopters and responded to tasks set to them by some of the UK’s leading STEM experts.

The winning team composed of Jadon Dooley, John Kennedy, Nogosa Obayuwana, Ruben Almeida and Victor Bobad with help from teachers and mentors from their Raytheon Technologies STEM Ambassador program.

The judges, who have a wide range of backgrounds including engineering, coding and space exploration, assessed students on how well suited they are to navigating conditions on Mars.

This year’s judges included Charlene Hunter, founder of Coding Black Females, who said: “Giving children opportunities to engage with science, maths and engineering outside of traditional classroom assignments opens their eyes to the possibilities of a career in STEM.

“When I was 10, I wrote my first line of code, I was lucky enough to be exposed to technology from a young age. However, for many young people, a career in STEM isn’t something they consider as an option for themselves,” she said. “It has been so exciting to watch the energy of young people learning and getting into STEM subjects. Inspiring the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers from all backgrounds and walks of life is so important in our journey to creating a more inclusive sector.”

Alex Rose-Parfitt, Engineering director at Raytheon UK, said: “After a challenging period for many students, we wanted to excite and re-engage young people in learning by giving them the opportunity to test and apply their skills to activities outside of their usual curriculum. As we enter a new era of space exploration, we hope this year’s theme of Mission to Mars will encourage the next generation of leaders and innovators to pursue careers in STEM.”

James Hogg, teacher at the school, said: “The students have shown exceptional effort, resilience, and dedication to work together to achieve so much in a short space of time. Their commitment to lunch times, after school and online meetings has led to teamwork, discussion and solutions to problems. I'm so proud of them, and I hope that they continue to show this dedication to their studies in the future.”

About The Quadcopter Challenge

  • This is the seventh year of the competition hosted by local employer Raytheon Technologies. The Quadcopter Challenge aims to inspire and attract students to STEM-based careers by showing them the practical applications of science.
  • Participating schools will have already taken part in a regional heat online with quadcopter designs built virtually.
  • This year’s 2021 challenge is the biggest yet, with support from Raytheon Technologies, including Collins Aerospace.
  • The school has won a Mission to Mars experience and a trip to a major air show.

About Raytheon UK

With facilities in Broughton, Waddington, Glenrothes, Harlow, Gloucester and Manchester, Raytheon UK is invested in the British workforce and the development of UK technology. Across the country the company employs 1,700 people. As a prime contractor and major supplier to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, Raytheon UK continues to invest in research and development, supporting innovation and technological advances across the country.

Raytheon UK is a unit of Raytheon Technologies and sits within the Raytheon Intelligence & Space business.