Over three days in February, Cambridge LaunchPad founding partner Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group welcomed 400 Year 4 students to their headquarters for a day of engineering activities. Students from eight primary schools – Abbey Meadows, Bar Hill, Cherry Hinton, Fen Ditton, Fulbourn, Kings Hedges, Linton Heights and St Faith’s School – joined together to learn more about what it’s like to work in the aerospace industry.
Students worked in a hangar all day, rotating around several activities including a tour of the on-site fire station and learning about Marshall’s history, working with electrical circuits as they relate to cars and helicopters, taking part in a ‘nuclear waste’ challenge, building and taking part in chariot racing and making parachutes to protect a water balloon dropped from a height.
Mrs Rosie Komodromos, Year 4 Class Teacher at Linton Heights Junior School, said
“As a new school to this project we count ourselves really lucky that the children have been able to experience hands on engineering. I have seen so many students flourish with the challenges of the LaunchPad day. Thinking about new ideas to overcome obstacles – it’s been inspiring!”
For many students this was their first chance to take part in engineering activities and it gave them an insight into what it’s like to work as an engineer. All of Marshall’s first-year apprentices were on hand to guide the students through the activities together with other Marshall colleagues and volunteers from other STEM companies. There were some 40 volunteers helping out each day, some working all three days.
Oliver Blakemore, First Year Design Apprentice at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group shared his volunteering experience.
“Working with LaunchPad has been a fun and interesting experience. I have enjoyed working alongside the young people of the area and I feel it really makes an impact on the local community. As someone who didn’t have these opportunities as a child, I am happy to help provide an opportunity for those in this area.”
Thirty-six students were selected across the three days as prize winners. These students best displayed the Cambridge LaunchPad core values of teamwork, communication and curiosity and will take part in the STARS awards ceremony in the summer and get the chance for a special LaunchPad prize trip.
Molly Askham, STEM Outreach Co-ordinator from Form the Future CIC, said
“It has been great to see so many young people engaged and inspired by these hands-on activities. The volunteers did an amazing job at showing the students what it might be like to work as an engineer and helped them to discover that the possibilities within the industry are endless. ”
If you want to find out about how you can help inspire the next generation of STEM professionals, please visit: www.cambridge-launchpad.com