Students reach for the stars at space-themed careers day
More than 80 pupils from secondary schools in the West Midlands to have taken part in a space-themed careers day.
Organised by youth charity the Jon Egging Trust (JET), the event at RAF Museum Midlands, was aimed at broadening awareness of careers in space, and "building aspiration, curiosity and confidence".
Year seven and eight students from four local schools, including Moreton School in Wolverhampton, Charlton School in Telford, and Highfields School in Cannock were at the event last Thursday (February 8)
The students took part in a round-robin of activities and challenges led by JET and supported by the RAF, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the National Space Academy (NSA).
Highlights of the day included interactive rocket challenges led by CAA STEM Ambassadors, an engaging careers-in-space talk, an educational space workshop, and immersive space-themed activities facilitated by the RAF Museum Midlands team.
As well as broadening career perspectives, the event focussed on building teamwork and communication skills; crucial workplace competencies championed by JET’s long-term support programmes.
Vicky Petrylak, JET’s Regional Manager in the West Midlands, reflected on the day’s success: “It was exciting and engaging for the pupils, and was filled with space-themed challenges and hand-on activities led by inspirational industry experts.
"Our aim at JET is to ignite curiosity, boost confidence and foster teamwork skills, and today was a giant leap in that direction, showcasing the fascinating realm of space careers."
The RAF Museum Midlands staff also expressed their enthusiasm. One said: “Space is a topic we love teaching students more about as it covers many aspects of STEM - from engineering the rockets, designing the rovers and all the mathematics involved in getting man on the moon. Hosting the event amidst our National Cold War Exhibition, surrounded by iconic aircraft, added an extra layer of inspiration for the students.”
Adelle Roberts, Head of Space Licensing and Monitoring at the UK Civil Aviation Authority added: “We’ve had a fantastic team from the UK Civil Aviation Authority showing off all the brilliant careers in space – it’s not just astronauts and space cadets. The message we want to send is there’s a huge range of exciting space jobs out there – from engineers to analysts, space lawyers to space communicators. We need inspired young people who can help make reaching for the stars a possibility not just a figure of speech.”