Cool Aeronautics ‘Amazing Day’
RAF Halton has hosted another Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) event with two schools, local to RAF Halton, taking part in making and driving a miniature model racing car, constructing an electronic circuit flying disk and events at the airfield where they got to look closely at the interior of a light aircraft and learned about radio communications and map reading.
The Cool Aeronautics events offer a fantastic opportunity for primary school children (Yr5 and Yr6) to meet inspirational people from across the industry and to engage with aerospace themed activities that are relevant to the current KS2 National Curriculum.
Prior to the activities Gp Capt Mark Manwaring, a fast jet navigator, briefed the children about the theory of flight and his own adventure circumnavigating the world and attempting to break the world record in a home-made highly modified Van’s RV-7 aircraft in 2019, the escapade is called ‘RAF Centenary Flight Of The Navigator’.
Mr Bill McGrath, who organises the events, said: “It has been particularly pleasing to witness the emergence of several new STEM Ambassadors from RAF Halton-based Service personnel within these last couple of months, including Sgt Mike Cooper, Cpl’s Darren Culley, Jenny Fry and Kenny Martin and the soon to be registered STEM Ambassador Flt Sgt Len Brettell. The significant contribution to the event made by other Halton-based Service personnel was also very much appreciated, including FL Sarah Hindley, FO Rachel Herod, FO Phil McQuade, FO Tom Burke, FO Conor Maguire, Sgt Stumpy Gardner and six Servicemen Awaiting Trade Training (SATTs); ACs Court, Brandon, Coleman, Morse, Bywater and Emerson. It was clear to see that both the children and their teachers very much enjoyed the experience which was only made possible by your valued contributions.”
Cool Aeronautics hosts the events up several times a year which are mainly supported by STEM Ambassadors from RAF Brize Norton and Benson and also from Rolls Royce Derby, as well as the volunteers from Trenchard Museum and James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre at the Station. Through 2018 they hope 1000 children will be able to take part to mark the year the Royal Air Force turns 100 years old, known as RAF 100. Extremely positive comments always come back from the teachers and children alike with one teaching assistant saying: “The children are so engrossed they are actually facilitating their own learning.”
Teacher Clarissa Hamilton, said: “Thank you again for a well organised, educational day, the children were, as you saw, enjoying a great experience.”
A pupil from Halton Combined School, KoKo, said: “My favourite thing was the car making and the map reading because the car making was super fun and creative, the map reading lesson expanded my vocabulary.”
In one recent Cool Aeronautics event a Chinook from RAF Benson landed at the Station Airfield and the children were able to get up close and sit inside it.
STEM is fully backed by the Royal Aeronautical Society and is intended to give all who take part an interest in the events and encourage curiosity in all air-minded and scientific careers in the future.
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