A TEAM from Abbeyfield School in Chippenham have come second in a national rocket making competition and were the only fully female group to make the final.

Chippenham was well represented in this year's UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge, run by ADS, with one fifth of all finalists coming from the town.

The aim was to create a 65cm rocket, complete with an engine and detonator, and use it to hurl an egg 800 feet vertically into the air and recover it via parachute without it cracking.

Competition in the preliminary rounds came from 21 schools across the UK and Abbeyfield, sponsored by Altran, narrowly lost out to The James Hornsby School in Essex last Wednesday, (JUN 3) on a place competing at the international final at Paris Airshow.

Team members coming second were Katherine Shepherd, Eleanor Wiltshire, Isobel Smy and Kara Masters, all 14.

Katherine, of Pewsham, said: "There were a lot of guys there, we were the only entirely female group.

"It was hard work, we stayed until 6pm most Fridays for three months. Hopefully, we'll win it next year."

Abbeyfield also had another team competing but unfortunately their rocket had the wrong ignitor and exploded on launch.

Two teams from the 10th Chippenham Air Scouts received their best set of results after making it through to the national final for the third time. Both managed good launches, with the Merlins finishing in sixth place and the Owls 11th.

The Scouts were excited to hear Bang Goes The Theory presenter Dallas Campbell speak, and show them a £1.5m Russian Cosmonaut suit that was used at the International Space Station.

Scout Jean-Benoit Semichon, 13, said: “Trying on an astronaut’s glove was something that I never thought I would do. It was really cool.”

Scout leader Chris Jones said: "This is an opportunity for young people to be exposed to the world aerospace engineering and for them to learn outside a formal educational environment.

"I am really proud of what they have achieved, yet again the only members of a non school team to enter."

He would like to hear from potential team sponsors via www.chippenhamairscouts.org.uk