On the 24th June 2014 the University of the West of England (UWE) was buzzing with over 120 children from three local Bristol schools. The children had been invited to take part in the Royal Aeronautical Society’s key stage 2 outreach programme – Cool Aeronautics. Cool Aeronautics focuses on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects to young people.
This latest event was co-run by representatives from Airbus Operations Ltd, GKN Aerospace and Stirling Dynamics, as well as by UWE aeronautical students. The visiting children had the chance to enjoy three different industry presentations, which focused on some of the basics of flight, aircraft components and structures. These were then followed up with several fun workshops where the children could put to use their newly gained knowledge by constructing and shooting model planes, building marshmallow and spaghetti structures, as well as playing with Airbus’ Wing Academy. The UWE aeronautical students also held an additional workshop showcasing some of the projects they had been working on and the things they had built.
Joseph Timoney, a Dynamics Engineer at Stirling Dynamics who presented at the event, commented: “It’s been a really great experience. I hope that today I’ve helped to encourage some of the children to consider studying engineering or a science related subject in the future. We’ve really tried to show that there are so many facets to engineering and that maths and science has a practical application in the world outside of school. For myself and the other graduates involved, it’s also been a step towards becoming chartered with the RAeS.”
The event was a great success with a lot of active participation from the children. They were amazed by the vast and complex processes involved in the manufacturing of planes and the multitude of safety tests new aircraft must go through in order to be certified for flight. The children were also given the opportunity to ask the engineers questions which provided some lively debate.
Former President of the RAeS, Jenny Body commented: “The day has gone fantastically. The key thing for me is engaging with children at the right age to stimulate an interest in engineering and aerospace. We had a very good representative and diverse group of children as well as companies here which made the day even better. The children had some great questions which reflected a lot of genuine interest. I believe they will go away from the event knowing a little more about aerospace, engineering and important companies in the South West, as well as the RAeS. Hopefully, we inspired some engineers of the future today!”
For more information on future Cool Aeronautic Events, please contact David Houston at David.Houston@aerosociety.com