Leonardo Helicopters UK STEM team based in Yeovil recently organised a ‘Bright Sparks’ event to help teach 12-13 year old school pupils the principles of flight and open their eyes to the world of engineering in a fun and interactive way.
Hosted by the Army Flying Museum in Middle Wallop Hampshire, the two-day event saw over 130 young people engage with the exhibits. These included a ‘search and rescue’ wind table to demonstrate vertical lift and highlight the types of missions undertaken by the AW101 helicopter. The Typhoon VR headset was also used to showcase the wider aerospace sector, and through virtual reality, enabled the students to undertake tasks such as Foreign Object Debris (FOD) recovery.
Mia Robinson, Events Vice-Chair of the STEM Committee at Leonardo Helicopters UK, said: “The Bright Sparks event ensured students from across Hampshire were enthused by STEM activities focussed on aerospace to inspire them into engineering careers.”
The Army Flying Museum tells the story of British Army Flying from the early days of military ballooning through to the modern Army Air Corps. Two large hangars house the impressive journey of British soldiers in the air from the pioneering days of balloons and kites to the Glider Pilot Regiment landing at Arnhem, right through to modern helicopter operations. The Museum features more than 35 fixed wing and rotary aircraft, supplemented by interactive displays and video content so was the perfect setting for this engaging STEM event.
Army Flying Museum Chief Executive, Lucy Johnson, said: “We are delighted to have been able to partner with Leonardo on the Bright Sparks event which aimed to inspire secondary school students about technology and engineering. It was fantastic to hear so much enthusiasm and excitement from everyone who attended. Providing high quality STEM activities for children is one of the museum’s priorities, and in partnering with Leonardo on this event, we were able to offer this opportunity for free to local schools, as well as an evening session for youth groups. Plus, we all had a lot of fun!”