A team of Queensland and South Australian school students have won the Australian finals of the National Space Design Competition.

The winning team, called ‘Magallen’, will now travel to Houston, Texas to compete in the International Space Design Competition.

Four school teams competed at the University of Queensland on Sunday 19 January. They were challenged to design, develop, construct and operate a dedicated asteroid mining settlement in 2049.

The four teams battled it out but Magellan was victorious. The Minister for Science and Innovation Ian Walker congratulated the winning team for showing impressive creativity, innovation and technical knowledge.

The triumphant team was made up of 29 students from Sheldon College (Redlands), Cannon Hill Anglican College, Bundaberg State High School and the Australian Science and Mathematics School (Adelaide).

There were over 100 students from twelve schools who spent the weekend partaking in the competition. All teams had to analyse the challenge, develop a proposed solution, and work together to prepare a compelling presentation.

Many of the Students had never met before and a great level of co-operation and hard work were demonstrated.

“The abilities demonstrated by these students instill a lot of confidence in the future of innovation and science in Queensland,” said Mr Walker.

The students had just 26 hours to develop a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation responding to an entirely new outer space challenge.

“It’s these students we want to cultivate and see working in here in Queensland’s world class facilities in various science and innovation roles in the future,” said Mr Walker.

The Australian Space Design draws on students’ knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as their skills in teamwork, marketing and human relations.

To make it to the finals at The University of Queensland schools from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales competed in the competition’s first round where they each submitted a 40-page proposal to design, develop, construct and operate a large space settlement.

The entries were assessed by a panel of judges provided by Engineers Australia, who applied similar criteria to those used in assessing tenders submitted for major engineering projects.

Competition organiser Mr Mark Shaw said Australian students have had much success at the international level in previous years.

“We’ve seen Australian entrants do very well in Houston, including a win and a number of second placings in past international competitions,” he said.

Want to get your children involved with space? Visit the Planetarium! And I’m sure these whiz kids could explain what would happen if you cried in space