On Tuesday 11th June, a select group of 25 Year 10 students were lucky enough to take part in an outreach event delivered by the Army STEM engagement team.

We were joined at the academy by two serving British Army soldiers; Chris, a vehicle mechanic from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers regiment and Jaye, a combat engineer from the Royal Engineers regiment.  Both soldiers described their routes into the army and students were given an idea of all the STEM based roles that exist in the services. Students were shocked to discover the army has software engineers as part of their regular staff, albeit in very small numbers.

Students were tasked with designing and building their rocket cars.  One group went for a very aerodynamic taco design whereas another went for a more familiar Formula 1 style, but all the groups showed great creativity and teamworking skills.  Students then cut their designs from foam blocks with axle slots for the wheels and decorated them as you can see in the images accompanying this article.  I found myself running around trying to meet all the students’ requests for material and ended up over 20,00 steps that day.

Unfortunately, we were not able to launch the rocket cars due to a broken firing box, but despite this, all the students engaged so positively with the event and went away with a much greater understanding of the variety of roles available in the armed forces.  Mrs Beaven (D&T technician) was also present and has booked the guys to come back next year because it was such a success!  Please keep an eye on your inboxes for more upcoming STEM opportunities in the new academic year.

Mr Barrett

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