Youngsters competed for the chance to blast off against rocket makers from across the world at an aerospace challenge.

Ten Essex schools took part in the county heats of the UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge, held at Stow Maries Aerodrome on Saturday.

It is the country’s largest model rocket showcase, with a top prize of competing in an international fly-off against American, French and Japanese teams at the Farnborough International Air Show.

The British winners will also get an all-expenses paid aerospace trip to Paris and Toulouse.

This year’s competition is the first time participants from Essex have entered.

Schools represented at Saturday’s heats included Beauchamps High School, Wickford, Castle View School, Canvey Island, Westcliff High School for Boys and the James Hornsby School, Basildon.

Four Chelmsford schools also took part – Boswells School, Chelmer Valley High School, Great Baddow High School and Chelmsford County High School for Girls.

The girls' school team won the Essex heat, with the other Chelmsford teams completing the top four.