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Five teenagers from the South Coast will get to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Branson in America next week - after winning a national competition with the space tourism firm, Virgin Galactic.
Matt Williams, Jack Hargreaves, Charlie Warder, Tom Bates and Patrick McMullen, all from Dorset, were students at St. Mary’s Middle School in Puddletown at the time they entered.
The task was to produce a marketable product that demonstrated one or more of the engineering or scientific principles used in the Virgin Galactic space flight.
The boys came up with the winning design - an air-powered toy rocket and each team member took a different role in designing, building, and marketing of the ‘stomp rocket’ – a polystyrene projectile launched by a foot pump.
Jack Hargreaves managed the project, with Charlie Warder appointed chief engineer. Tom Bates headed the design effort, Matt Williams managed costs and Patrick McMullen handled market research.
Speaking to Heart about winning, Matt said: “The whole team was absolutely amazed. I’m looking forward to everything.”
His proud Dad, Peter Williams said: “It’s been a real team effort. Everyone has played his part. I’m absolutely beside myself and Matt’s brother and sister are delighted for him.”
The boys will fly to New Mexico this weekend (Sunday 17th Oct) for the week-long trip, along with their old science teacher.