Summer may seem a long way away but the National Physical Laboratory is making sure there is more than sunshine to look forward to this summer.

The Teddington laboratory is gearing up for two events in May and June - the annual rocket challenge and the chance to explore behind closed doors in an open house day.

Registration for both events, which have proved popular in the past opened this week.

School teams, adult enthusiasts and youth groups can sign up to take part in this year’s water rocket challenge, which marks the 15th year of the event.

Rocketeers will battle it out to become champion by launching rockets powered by water or air pressure and keeping them in the sky the longest.

Novice rocket makers can attend hands-on workshops to get help and equipment to build rockets and stand to win a range of prizes during the event, which promises to be a fun family day.

The laboratory itself will open its doors to the public a month after the rocket challenge, giving visitors the chance to peek behind the doors of the Teddington laboratory.

The laboratory is one of the UK’s leading science and research facilities and is a centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate standards, science and technology available.

The Teddington facilities are among the world’s most extensive and sophisticated for measurement science.

The date of the open day is significant because May 20 is World Metrology Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875, which continues to provide the basis for a single, coherent system of measurements, traceable to the International System of Units.

The open house will be a chance to mark the day and celebrate the impact of measurement on our daily lives.

More than 2,500 people attended the previous National Physical Laboratory open house event, held in 2012.

NPL Water Rocket Challenge 2014; National Physical Laboratory sports ground, Teddington; Wednesday, June 18; Entry £25 per team, or £5 per person for the workshop; Apply at

National Physical Laboratory Open House; Teddington; Tuesday, 2pm to 8pm on Tuesday, May 20; Entry free but registration essential; visit