Bristol primary pupils to hit the skies with cool aeronautics

Issue date: 17 March 2016

Pupils attend Cool Aeronautics event at UWE Bristol

On Friday 18 March, 100 children from Wrington Church of England Primary, St Theresa's Roman Catholic Primary and Hillcrest Primary School (Totterdown) – will experience the fascinating world of flying, aerospace and engineering at a day-long Cool Aeronautics event at the University of the West of England (UWE) organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Pupils will participate in fun, interactive workshops, and listen to themed talks delivered by aerospace and aviation professionals, including a pilot and an aircraft engineer.

All children go home from the event with a special goody bag containing aviation inspired contents which they can then share with their parents, siblings and friends.

First launched in 2007, Cool Aeronautics is the Royal Aeronautical Society's primary school outreach programme that aims to showcase aerospace and aviation to 7 and 11 year-old children and their teachers and parents to encourage from an early age an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, as well as the amazing opportunities that the sector can offer.

Cool Aeronauticssessions are free to attend and offer a fantastic opportunity for young people to meet inspirational people from across the industry and to engage with activities that are relevant to the current Key Stage 2 National Curriculum.

The events represent a crucial part of the Society's efforts to provide a 'through-life' approach to its outreach and careers activities. In particular, Cool Aeronautics embodies the Society's aim to promote aerospace and aviation to a new generation.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Royal Aeronautical Society's formation and Cool Aeronautics is an integral part of the celebrations. One of the anniversary goals is 'to inspire young people about past and future aerospace achievement' and the Society has set an ambitious target of reaching 150 schools with Cool Aeronautics in 2016 – particularly schools in more disadvantaged areas that may not regularly take part in STEM activities.

Commenting ahead of the University of West of England event, Thomas Blowers, Careers and Outreach Officer at the Royal Aeronautical Society, said:

“A lifelong love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) can begin as early as primary-school age but schools do not always have the resources to enthuse their pupils about the many exciting possibilities in these subjects. Through Cool Aeronautics we aim to shine a light for children on the fascinating world of STEM, as well as the wide variety of opportunities open to them in aviation and aerospace, in an interactive, fun and memorable away.”

Catherine Hobbs, Head of Engineering, Design and Mathematics at the University of the West of England, said:

“We are facing severe skill shortages that will stifle further growth unless addressed now. Over 16,000 engineers will be needed in the South West region by 2022. This means we need to double the number of young people doing engineering degrees and apprenticeships (including degree apprenticeships) over the next six years. The evidence is that the 11-14 age group is critical to meeting this challenge.”

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