It’s been a while, but the ADS UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKROC) is back with a blast!

On Thursday 7 October 2021, six teams from across the country went head-to-head in a final to be crowned national champions. All they had to do was to design, build and launch a model rocket carrying a fragile payload (usually a raw egg) which is brought back to the ground safely and without breaking! It’s an opportunity for young people to get engaged in STEM in a fun and exciting way.

The winners

  • 1st Place: Team Vesuvius from King Edwards School, Bath (seen above)
  • 2nd Place: Team NHASA from North Halifax Grammar School
  • 3rd Place: Team Icarus from Epsom College.


The honourable finalists were:

  • Physics Nerds from NHGS
  • Gordonstoun Rocketeers from Gordonstoun School
  • Where are My Engines, Holt? from Tiffin School

Congratulations and thanks to our sponsors Lockheed Martin and Royal Aeronautical Society for supporting the event.


Let’s meet the teams:

Team Vesuvius

Team Vesuvius are from Bath and saw the competition as an opportunity to apply Maths and Physics theory to an exciting engineering project.

Recent advances and growth in Space science excited the team further and inspirited the team to challenge themselves by creating a small-scale rocket. Unlike Team Icarus, it’s the school’s first time entering the competition – so perhaps there was some beginner’s luck here! Well done – Team Vesuvius!


From North, West Yorkshire, Halifax, team NHASA are fierce competition as their school won the international championship 2 years ago. NHASA wanted the chance to work as a team and saw the competition as chance to work on something independent from schoolwork that was challenging and fun.

The competition has given NHASA the opportunity to apply basic principles of forces and mechanics learnt in physics and math as well as giving them team a taster of a basic simulation software and insight into how projects may be undertaken in higher education.

Fun fact about the team: one of NHASA’s team members is under 5 foot. Let’s hope team NHASA’s rocket will reach dizzying heights – Congratulations for achieving second place!

Team Icarus

Team Icarus are from Epsom, Surry and are fierce competition to other rookie finalists. Their 3rd place 2019 entry remains tauntingly on display in their Physics reception and the team are determined to be crowned this year’s winners. Team Icarus love that the UK Roc Challenge has no instructions which allows them to be super creative and solve problems with their friends and peers.

You may notice that the Rocket looks rather fetching in ombre spray paint – during lockdown two team members developed a love of spray-painting which they applied to the final paint job. Great work, team!

Commenting on the challenge, Team Icarus captain, Amy Scerri said:

“I have always dreamt of studying aeronautical engineering at university and pursuing a career in vehicle design, particularly planes or rockets. So the idea of creating a rocket was very enticing. The fact that we get the opportunity to design and manufacture a rocket is very appealing, as this has always been a dream of mine.”

team Icarus won ‘Guess the weight of the Rocket’.

Well done Team Icarus!

Where are my engines, Holt?


Also known as the Tiffin Rocketry Society, where are my engines, Holt? are from Kingston upon Thames, and similarly to Team Vesuvius have been excited by growth in the Space sector. Particularly, the renewed Space race between private companies and as a result the whole team wanted to get involved.

Like all the teams, where are my engines, Holt? are fiercely competitive and wanted to be the first Tiffin team to win. The site the team is currently using for their test launches is a farm so old that it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and was used as a strategic based before D-Day, go check it out – it’s called Apps Court Farm.

Where are my engines, Holt? won best team name.


Gordonstoun Rocketeers

Now to introduce our team that is the furthest away from our South Eastern headquarters – the Gordonstoun Rocketeers who are based in Elgin, Scotland.

A number of the team members are interested in careers in the dynamic aerospace industry, and UK Roc has given them unprecedented insight into iterative design and engineering. The Gordonstoun Rocketeers believe the most exciting thing about the challenge is the chance to launch rockets!

Finally, a fun fact about the team… in order to coordinate their rocket test launches, they have to work with RAF Lossimouth to time the launches between take-off and landings at the airfield. Like Team Icarus, we have some returning rocketeers with some team members being involved in the challenge for more than three years.

Congratulations to the Gordonstoun Rocketeers! who won ‘Best Dressed Rocket’.

Physics Nerds

Also from North, West Yorkshire, Halifax the Physics Nerds got involved after playing with air rockets as children which sparked an interest to build a proper one. One of the exciting things about the competition for the Physics Nerds was seeing how the different pieces of rocket fit together to produce the full rocket, and then seeing the rocket fly!

Fun fact about the team: none of the Physics Nerds take A-Level French so it’s probably best the national winners can’t go to Paris this year!

Well done to the Physics Nerds!

About ADS Youth Rocketry Challenge

The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKROC) sponsored by Lockheed Martin, is a national competition for young people aged 11 – 18 from any secondary schools, colleges, educational facilities or youth groups to design, build and launch a model rocket with a fragile payload (usually a raw egg).

The rocket must reach a set altitude with specific total flight duration, and must adhere to the specific set rules. The competition’s rules and scoring parameters change each year to challenge young people’s ingenuity and encourage a fresh approach to rocket design.

If you’d like to find out more about ADS’ UK Youth Rocketry Challenge, please visit the website, and to keep up to date with the latest blast offs, follow us on Instagram and Facebook!