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After a busy summer of activity, our STEM co-ordinator Brenda Jefcoate discusses the work we’ve done to inspire young people.

At the Civil Aviation Authority, we want to inspire and engage with young people to explore careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), aviation and aerospace to support and encourage their future career choices.

We know that aviation and aerospace needs to be ready for the future and we need different talent, ideas and values to make that happen.

That’s why this summer, we’ve been particularly busy in our STEM team engaging with young people to support and showcase to them what a possible career in STEM, aviation and aerospace might look like.

Hosting a virtual work experience programme

In August, we held our first ever Virtual Work Experience Programme in partnership with Springpod.

More than 1,330 students took control of their future and registered to learn more about our amazing industry. With the support of our fantastic colleagues here at the Civil Aviation Authority, students engaged with the programme for 4,747 hours and completed 4,218 modules. Modules included; Doing it the right way-Regulation, Safety and Security, Behind the Scenes HR, Communication & More, Working in Aviation & Aerospace.

The programme looked at the role of the Civil Aviation Authority as a regulator of aerospace and aviation, providing an insight into how we promote innovation in the industry, and ensure that standards and safety is always adhered to. The programme gave students the opportunity to learn about different areas and responsibilities of the UK Aviation regulator and have the opportunity to take part in interactive activities and quizzes and speak to leading industry experts.

Following the success of the event this year, we plan to host this again next summer.

We received some fantastic feedback on the programme, with many telling us it was informative and that it helped improve people’s knowledge and understanding of the sector.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to take part in such an informative and interesting work experience. The amount of time and effort put into something is something I wouldn't like to imagine, so the ability to be able to access such a great resource completely for free is a godsend - Dillon

Learning and building on my knowledge about the aviation industry, and how the CAA has arguably the greatest role in its success. Thank you for taking the time to create and deliver this great virtual work experience. It has given not only me but everyone who participated a huge amount of knowledge and understanding about this sector. It has made us more confident about paving our way to contribute to the world of aviation. – Huda

Supporting the Royal International Air Tattoo

In July a team of CAA STEM Ambassadors attended the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT).

We supported our national partner Primary Engineer as they launched the Inspire Stage as part of the ‘Technozone’. This zone as part of the exhibitions at RIAT, had aviation at its heart and was where the STEM subjects were brought to life. There were lots of cutting-edge exhibits and interactive activities designed to engage and inspire future engineers.

This provided an incredible opportunity for young people to meet and interview engineering and technology professionals and aviators. We also had the opportunity to host two panel discussions covering everything from the future of automation, hypersonic aircraft and sustainable fuel. 

It was good to see so many interested young people who shared our passion for aviation, and we were all delighted to share our experience of working in the aviation industry along with the wide range of jobs and skills required to support the industry. 

Friday at Farnborough International Airshow

A number of us also attended STEM Day at Farnborough International Air Show in July.

The Civil Aviation Authority stand was buzzing with enthusiastic families, schools, cadet and scout groups and all-round aviation and aerospace enthusiasts who joined in with our STEM activities. These included an aviation and aerospace puzzle, a treasure hunt and paper plane hoop challenge.

We also provided young people some time to speak with our ambassadors to gain insight into careers within the aviation sector.

Supporting Air Cadets

In August, STEM Ambassadors Dave Emsley and Mark Shortman supported the RAF Air Cadet Industry Day. We had the opportunity to engage with more than 600 RAF Air Cadets and their families, who took part in a range of aviation and STEM orientated activities. More than 30 industry partners in a career fair, to highlight future opportunities in aviation, aerospace and defence sectors.

The Women’s World Gliding Championships 2022

We also had the opportunity to support the Women’s World Gliding Championships (WWGC) hosted at The Gliding Centre at Husband’s Bosworth.

Over their two-day open weekend, CAA STEM Ambassadors Robert Stallard and Mark Baker engaged, educated and inspired hundreds of visitors to the WWGC exhibition.

Both brought a wealth of experience and passion to this opportunity and really enjoyed the experience. We also produced a video and podcast on the event of the WWGC 2022 – which we hope will inspire young people particularly girls to see gliding as a possible activity open to them.

To find out more about our STEM work here at the CAA, please visit our decided STEM website at www.stem.caa.co.uk


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