A team of trainees working at Leonardo in Yeovil brought the exhilaration of aerospace technology straight to students from across the Andover and Winchester areas when they attended a recent STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) day at the Army Flying Museum in Hampshire.
Interactive activities allowed the students to understand how science can blaze a trail in the skies, with the activities focused on giving the students hands-on experiences to build their confidence.
Students were given the chance to wear a virtual reality helmet that allowed them to experience the wonder of the RAF Eurofighter up close; saw a Search and Rescue exhibit describing how helicopters can winch people to safety in the high seas; took part in a helicopter design activity that allowed them to imagine a futuristic helicopter they might want to invent in the future; and listened to a ‘What is an Engineer’ presentation to leave them with a lasting understanding of the role of an engineer.
After grasping the core principles of aerospace engineering, students were then able to take a trip around a new Leonardo STEM Trail now in place at the Museum, so they could see how engineers have applied this knowledge over the course of aviation history, with Leonardo exhibits on display in the Museum as part of the trial including the Lynx Cockpit Trainer, an Apache AH Mk.1 Interactive Room, a Gazelle AH Mk.1 and Sycamore HR.14.
Participating schools included Knights Enham Junior, Henry Beaufort and John Hanson, with students getting the chance to pose questions directly to the Leonardo team.
Reflecting on the impact of the Leonardo trainees’ presence at the event, Lucy Johnson from the Army Flying Museum said: “It was a delight having the Leonardo trainees leading activities at this year’s STEM Day along with the Museum’s staff and volunteers – their enthusiasm, energy and knowledge created a brilliant day for everyone attending. I am quite sure that they have inspired some budding engineers!
Leonardo STEM team member Joshua Barry said: “The event hosted at the Army Flying Museum was my first event with the STEM Committee and it was a fantastic experience. I immensely enjoyed hosting all activities throughout the day, in particular the Helicopter Design Activity. This was a fantastic opportunity to introduce the students to the considerations that are made when designing a Helicopter for certain applications, and I was impressed with all the teams’ designs. The Museum was a great location, with a fascinating number of legacy Leonardo vehicles.”