RESULTS from the 2nd ESA AstroPi Challenge 2017-2018
The 2017/2018 Astro Pi Challenge saw a huge increase in participation, largely owing to the introduction of Mission Zero. The combined reach of both Challenges totalled over 6800 young people across 25 different countries. The most well-represented country in both challenges was the United Kingdom, this reflected the UKSA origins of the programme and the extensive reach that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has into schools and clubs in the UK, and the availability of the majority of the programme information in English. We hope to increase participation in non-English speaking European countries in 2018/2019 programme through the introduction of Mission Zero resources translated into all 18 official ESA languages and through more effectively mobilising ESERO partners across ESA member states.
Taken together, the overall female participation in the 2017/2018 Astro Pi Challenge was 38.3%. The level of female participation in Mission Zero was 41.2%, which is a much higher level of girls engagement than is typically seen with computing / STEM competitions. Mission Space Lab had 27.2% female team members. We intend to conduct further analysis to understand why and to identify opportunities to increase representation by girls in Mission Space Lab.
This year’s challenge saw the addition of a fourth phase into Mission Space Lab - the writing of formal scientific reports. With any additional stages in a competition of this sort, there is a risk of attrition. We were very pleased to receive a total 98 reports in Phase Four, from a total of 114 teams eligible to submit. Across the entire challenge, approximately 83.5% of participants deemed eligible to take part, went on to submit an entry. This shows that the decrease in participation across phases, from 330 initial entries to 98 final reports, is mainly a result of elimination through the judging process. We hope to reduce the number of eliminations next year, by introducing a more comprehensive support resource to help teams avoid common coding errors.
Mission Zero has proven very successful in making the Astro Pi Challenge more accessible to a younger audience, with 38% of participants entering from Primary Schools compared to just 12% of those entering Mission Space Lab. 76% of Mission Space Lab participants were aged between 14 and 19 years, which is a positive sign for this often difficult to reach age group.
RESULTS - Short Term Experiment
RESULTS - Long Term Experiment