Calling all Future Scientists - Satellite Competition

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Calling future scientists, engineers, data analysts & environmentalists. 

Build your very own satellite and have it launched into space.

Our school has the opportunity to build and launch their very own SpriteSat. This tiny satellite measures 35mm square and just a few millimetres thick and has the potential to collect valuable environmental data about our planet.

NYES has joined with Ambasat (the #1 DIY Space Satellite Kit company) to offer this fantastic opportunity.

We will follow a 10 lesson course to build, code and test their own satellites, three of which will then be made ready to be launched into space. 

Once in orbit the satellite's progress can be monitored via the dashboard and data collected by the chosen sensor.  We will invite the students to present their report at a special session in a forthcoming NYES EdTech Show. 

We will receive:

  • A 10 lesson self-tutor course to guide your team through building and coding your satellite
  • 20 satellite build kits – all the components you will need to build and personalise your SpriteSat with a choice of sensor
  • Opportunity to have three of your completed kits launched into space
  • The possibility for 720 or more orbits of the earth
  • Real-time data delivered through the monitoring dashboard for you to record and analyse
  • Speaker slot at a future NYES EdTech Show to present your experience of taking part to other teachers
  • Social media and PR support to promote your school's involvement in this project

Why this age group?

Space is exciting for pupils of any age, but years 7-9 are at the start of thinking about future education pathways and making choices of which subjects to study further.  A project of this nature offers a glimpse of the types of skills that are needed in completing the tasks which we hope will help to start conversations about which subjects to study.

Once built to get the satellites space ready and prepared for launch could take up to six months.  Pupils in years 7-9 will still be in school to see the results and complete the final part of the task. 


What better way to enthuse your students by giving them an insight to the many varied careers from an involvement in space technology.  Who knows, perhaps this will guide them to make informed choices for future study pathways?. 

This opportunity offers students a taste of: environmental science, engineering, technology, coding, data analysis as well as working in a project team with various roles and developing digital and presentation skills.

This course would be ideal as an after school club for a 10 week period over the summer term and each lesson is aimed to develop skills and critical thinking aligned to curriculum subjects. 

Pre launch course supports the following subjects:

Lesson 1 - Introduction to AmbaSat & Satellites.
Skills - Problem solving & resilience. Developing critical thinking skills. Use of online sources.
Curriculum - Career pathways
Lesson 2 - Assembly Overview
Skills - recognising electronic components, H&S understanding. Develop soldering skills  
Curriculum - D&T Electronics
Lesson 3 - Sensor Understanding & Choice
Skills - understanding of what each sensor does, impact on the environment. Impact of activity on the planet
Curriculum - Geography / Physics
Lesson 4 - AmbaSat board assembly
Skills - Team working, problem solving, practical skills development                                
Curriculum - D&T Electronics, physics
Lesson 5 - Introduction to Coding.
Skills - Problem solving & resilience, development of coding knowledge, interrogation of data and algorithms.                                                    
Curriculum - Computing & ICT, understanding complex languages
Lesson 6 - Coding lesson 2
Skills - development of coding knowledge & problem solving         
Curriculum - Computing & ICT
Lesson 7 - Data Analysis.
Skills – understanding complex data from a dashboard, developing digital and data visualisation skills.
Curriculum - Mathematics & Statistics,
Lesson 8 - Rocket Science Lesson 1 - theory  
Skills - Team building, critical thinking & problem solving      
Curriculum - Physics, D&T product design
Lesson 9 - Rocket Science Lesson 2. Practical Rocket Practical:
Skills -  Team building, critical thinking & problem solving      
Curriculum - Physics, D&T product design
Lesson 10 - End of Course Competition and mission pitch.
3 winners awarded a rocket launch on an “AmbaSat Launcher” into Low Earth Orbit.
Skills - Improved confidence, presentation and public speaking skills
Curriculum - Employability / Drama


Read more about the full range of learning outcomes of the Ambasat course - we've placed an overview document in the section at the end of this page. 

“Space is "playing an increasing role in enabling us to monitor and tackle climate change and other forms of environmental damage.” [UK Space Agency].

If you had the opportunity to send a small satellite into space what would your ideal mission be and how would the data help our understanding of climate change?

Tell us about your coolest ideas and how they could make a difference.

Feel free to be creative and surprise us with your ideas. 


Pre Launch 

  • Satellite build - to fit into school timetabling
    • option 1 - Summer Term
    • option 2 - Autumn Term
  • Completed satellites sent to Ambasat and prepared for launch

Post Launch

  • Launch – final date to be announced by Ambasat
  • Operational phase - data collection whilst satellite orbits the earth
  • Post operation - data analysis and preparations of final report
  • Presentation at a future NYES EdTech Show


Risks and Challenges

Launching something into space is a risky venture and some things are out of our control, regardless of how well we prepare. Rockets blow up, get cancelled or get postponed.

A message from Ambasat. 

"We’ve done everything to make sure that we can meet our timeline and if there are things that start to look unlikely then we will let you know straightaway. But we are confident that solutions can always be found. That’s what we do and it’s the nature of our business."


Build Your Own Satellite - Additional Information

Websites which might be useful for background information 

Essential tools you will need to build the satellite 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Ambasat mission 

Full terms and condition 

Judging criteria 


Good luck and remember the sky is no longer the limit!