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Primary School Junior Engineers Compete at Air Tattoo

Published: 01 Aug 2016   updated: 05 Aug 2016


The culmination of a three-month STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) project took place at the recent Air Tattoo. Sponsored by the RAF Charitable Trust, STEMworks ran a Junior Engineering Challenge in the show's Techno Zone area. The Trust Director, Amanda Butcher,explained " Promoting STEM subjects is part of the Trust's mission to encourage air-mindedness in young people and it is great to be able to offer this sort of opportunity to our local schools"

With 20 local primary schools taking part, the engineers of the future were tasked to design and build a craft that could safely transport an egg, to simulate humanitarian aid being dropped into a warzone. 

In the afternoon 'the Blues', the Red Arrows' flight engineers, were on hand to chat with the children before their craft were put to the test. Trustee, Ian Beresford, then presented awards for the three categories: presentation, design and the egg challenge.

The presentation challenge winners were St Lawrence Primary School, Lechlade. Pupil Theo Cinnamond, aged 10, said, "We were asked what we did to get it all together. So we said that we had first made lots of different plans and then we had tried different ones when bits didn't work." 

Sherborne C of E Primary School scooped the design award. School governor Mrs Annette O'Brien explained, "It's good for them to do something different from English and Maths. We're a really small school, so it's great that they get to have a competition with other children from different areas."

North Cerney C of E Primary School took victory in the egg challenge. Pupil Olivia Goodwin, aged 10, said, "This is our first time coming here so it was a great experience. We've done a drop the egg competition where we had to drop an egg in a box or cylinder and we had to make it not crack. It's like when the RAF drop packages down from the sky so we had to keep it safe. That was our proudest one. We've had a fun day."

STEMworks is a Gloucestershire based not-for-profit company that works with schools, business and other organisations to promote STEM skills. 

Director Simon Kettle explained, "STEM is important because the country needs people that make, design and engineer things, because we can then sell them to other people and make peoples' lives better because of that engineering and scientific engineering ingenuity. We're encouraging children, getting them to realise that there are good careers within STEM and a career in STEM is an exciting, interesting, creative occupation to consider in the future."

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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