The UKSDC was a competition of skill and stamina; one which I greatly enjoyed. It provided many new challenges for me and I’m glad to have been part of it. Our task was to design and plan the construction and habitation of a refinery settlement on Mercury; working in tandem with a pre-existing mining colony. This proved quite the challenge due to the extreme temperatures and lack of atmosphere on the planet. It ensured our planning had to be airtight and our concepts flawless.

The competition day had an intense structure and atmosphere. The joint team from both the Boys’ School and Girls’ School began with a series of technical talks, outlining the key areas and challenges of our respective roles. This ensured we were oriented correctly and could hit the ground running when we formed our groups. My role was president of the company; it entailed the overseeing and organisation of the members and meetings throughout the day – due to the competition’s virtual nature, this meant many hours of video calls and online planning!

Throughout the day, we ran into series of hurdles. If it weren’t for our quick footwork and planning, these may have proved difficult to overcome – and yet strong leadership and rapid decision-making from our vice-president and department heads, steered us back on track. We were provided with a volunteer ‘CEO’ by the UKSDC organisers, who gave us advice and insight into how to approach various obstacles. We found this extremely useful!

By the eighth hour, we had been working endlessly; producing a huge amount of content regarding every possible aspect of our base – finance, timelines, construction, automation – the full spectrum. At this point, we submitted our work to be assessed by the judging panel, and gathered to rehearse our presentation. We presented first. It went perfectly; each department had collated their work seamlessly, providing a well-presented and thoroughly understood 20-minute briefing on our plans.

Listening to three other succinct talks, we waited on the results with bated breath. However, it appeared that our dedication and resolve paid off – we had won the regional heats, and were entered into the National finals. Working with a team so competent, and so invested, really allowed us to flourish and show our best – I’m proud to have worked alongside them.

Report written by Krystjan (L6C1)