School pupils and kids clubs from P6 to S2 are invited onto the UHI campus on Tuesday 22 November to build and test their own rocket car, an exciting hands-on project designed to fire up the youngsters who could be tomorrow’s space-travellers.

Lews Castle College UHI is heading for the outer limits with a frontier-pushing Space Week programme which shows that you’re never too young to build a rocket.

Designed to showcase cutting-edge research in aerospace engineering at the Stornoway campus of UHI, the programme, from November 22 to 24, offers something to stimulate minds at every stage of education, from primary school to postgraduate.

Richard Varvill, technical director of Reaction Engines Ltd, will give a talk on the future of space travel. His company is working with the European Space Agency and the British Space Agency on development of the Sabre engine, which could pave the way to the next generation of spacecraft. He’ll explain all about Sabre and the Skylon spaceplane at his talk on Wednesday November 23 at 6.30pm.

Other speakers include Chris Jones of BAE Systems on advance defence and aerospace  technology, and Richard Tarvis on space developments in the Western Isles, including the potential development of Stornoway airport as the UK’s first spaceport.

Host researcher Chris Macleod of Lews Castle College UHI will also unveil the unique space propulsion ideas being researched right here in the Western Isles. Those talks are on Thursday 24 November from 6.30pm.

Chris Macleod said: “This is a fine gathering of some of the most forward-thinking minds in space research, fittingly taking place here at the very edge of Europe. It’s not only a great opportunity for local youngsters to learn more about what space research offers, but an open forum for great ideas that could lead in a number of exciting directions. Anyone with an interest in space, the universe and high-end engineering is welcome to attend the lectures.”

The whole programme is available via the Lews Castle College UHI website at

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