PUPILS at a school in Bracknell proved they are out of this world as they took part in a special STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) challenge this week.

Students from Garth Hill College wowed members of the local Rotary Club who set them a challenge of designing and building a structure to launch a 'space capsule'.

Pupils from across the school split into teams of four to work on the task to launch a golf air ball at least three metres from the ground as vertically as possible.

The Rotary judges listened to team discussions as they tested the various mechanisms for their structure, and watched as the devices were developed and tested.

The teams were then asked to present their final structures to the judges, who marked them on their communication skills, their idea development, implementation of a solution, and the teams' project portfolios.

The winning team were Ananya Shrivastava, Lana Puskas, Sydney Armstrong, and James Ireland.

Garth Hill College's STEM Lead, Jill Heales said: "Exposing our pupils to the real life application of STEM subjects is an important part of ensuring they have the skills required for both the academic curriculum and life beyond. Activities such as the Rotary Challenge help young people to understand STEM application in a real-world setting and to hear about the interesting and rewarding careers studying the subjects can lead to.”

Easthampstead Rotary spokesman Tony Higgins said: “The UK is currently facing a skills shortage in STEM subjects and the Rotary Club is keen to be part of the solution to help address this. As an organisation we focus on where there is need whether local, national or global; this challenge is part of our local programme of activities to help the young people and employers in our area.”