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Pupils' project propelled into space

Pupils' project propelled into space

Published at 8:03am 26th July 2015. (Updated at 10:05am 27th July 2015)

A high-flying group of computer coders at Thirsk School and Sixth Form College have won a national competition for their code to be sent into space with British astronaut Tim Peake.

The inaugural 'Astro Pi' competition is run in association with the International Space Station (ISS) and judged by leading space companies, the UK Space Agency and ESERO UK (the UK Space Education Office).

Thirsk School’s team of ten Year 7 and 8 students was successful against schools from all over the UK.

Tim Peake will travel to the ISS in November with the first ever 'Raspberry Pi' computer to be sent into space.

The code he will take with him from Thirsk School uses data to predict the location of the ISS, so it doesn’t need to be online.

It then works out which country’s territory the ISS is above and shows its flag, along with a short phrase in the local language.

As well as their coding skills, the students have used their knowledge of geography, mathematics and languages to build the programme.

The judges said: "We had a lot of fun with Thirsk's entry. All of the judges have been impressed by the quality of work and the effort that has gone into the winning projects and they produced useful, well-thought-through and entertaining results."

Dan Aldred, Head of ICT at Thirsk School, added: "Well done to all the students, it is a massive achievement and I am extremely proud of their dedication and determination. It just goes to show what an amazing thing learning to code can be. It can literally open up new frontiers."