We are open from 10.00am Bank Holiday Monday. Admission is free
Free Admission - We're open daily from 10.00am (parking charges apply)

Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency  - FAQS

Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency

What is STAAR?

STAAR has been Highly Commended in the M+H Awards 2019 for Educational Initiative of the YearThe STAAR (Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency) Programme is a week – long residential Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational brought to you by the Royal Air Force Museum and Northrop Grumman, with the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, and in partnership with RAF Cosford.

The STAAR programme has been designed to provide a unique experience to inspire young people to understand more about advanced aerospace systems engineering and to encourage them to study and take up careers in STEM – related fields.

The programme provides students for five intense days with the full experience of life as an RAF engineering trainee, excluding aspects of military life such as marching of course! There is a large social element built into the programme as participants from the 50/50 gender split cohort are placed in a group of approximately 5 students with whom to live, work, learn, and solve tasks together. 

The STAAR program brings together students from all walks of life and from across the UK to partake in this 5-Day residential programme which provides them with a great opportunity to mix with like- minded teenagers that they perhaps wouldn’t typically meet. At times, this can create a stressful situation for some participants, but with pastoral care and support from the RAF, RAF Museum, and Tablet Academy staff as well as soft team building workshops embedded throughout the programme, all participants soon become members of well knitted teams, all keen to participate and work together to achieve their common goals.

During the program, participants live in secure accommodation inside ‘the wire’. This means that they will experience shared accommodation, which even though it may be somewhat of a shock for some recruits, it also ensures they have the opportunity to relax in a very safe environment with help and support available 24/7 from fully-qualified chaperones should any participant have personal concerns or needs. 

What will STAAR Recruits will get from the course?
  • Discover the stories of historical aircraft and their missions
  • Explore advanced aerospace concepts and design
  • Examine the evolution and future of advanced aerospace technologies
  • Learn about multi-role aerospace capabilities
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Build team building skills
  • Be inspired to take up a career in STEM related fields
  • Make new friends and have fun!

Our Recruits will also be working towards a CREST Award and an Industrial Cadet Award. Both are nationally-recognised schemes that are respected by universities and employers, and enhance UCAS personal statements. 

Why learn about advanced aerospace technologies?

There is no better way to experience the power of aerospace engineering than by seeing first-hand how it is applied to the design and development of manned aircraft and other advanced aerospace systems, and the impact it has in meeting the needs of a nation: to stimulate innovation, to push the boundaries of scientific research and development, to create next-generation technologies and manufacturing capabilities and to produce a skilled workforce for now and the future.

When is STAAR 2019?

The week-long STAAR programme is offered on two weeks in 2019 : 22 - 26 July and 29 July - 2 August.

Students can only be nominated to attend one week and applications close Monday 8 April 2019.

How much will it cost?

The programme is fully funded by Northrop Grumman and will include all meals and accommodation. 

Where will STAAR take place?

STAAR activities will be delivered between RAF Cosford main base and the RAF Museum Cosford site.  Bus transportation will be arranged by RAF Cosford between the two sites as necessary.

RAF Cosford is a secure campus.  RAF personnel, video monitoring and perimeter fencing are in place 24/7.  During the week, guests must check in through the main security gate where they are issued with the required pass for admittance.  Additionally, fire and safety equipment is located in buildings throughout the campus.

RAF Museum Cosford is open to the general public from 10.00am to 5.00pm (last admission 4.00pm) from March to October (10.00am to 4.00pm with last admission at 3.00pm between November and February). The Museum site has monitored CCTV, with fire and safety equipment in each of the Hangars and main buildings. Students will spend time at the Museum as part of the programme and the Graduation Ceremony on the final day will be hosted in the Museum auditorium.

Who is STAAR for?

Nominations are open to students in Year 10 for the academic year 2018/2019, who have shown a flair for STEM or have an interest but who may not have had the opportunity to partake in such a programme. Nominated students 15th birthday must fall between September 2018 and August 2019.

STAAR is open to UK citizens only.

STAAR is not open to children of Northrop Grumman or Royal Air Force Museum employees.

What is expected from our STAAR Recruits?
  • An interest in how things work
  • A positive, can-do attitude
  • A willingness to learn new things and to work as a team
  • Respect and exemplary behaviour
Who can apply?

Applications must be made by a teacher or school representative using a school email address, after consultation with the nominated student and their parents/guardians. Any applications that are made by students themselves will not be accepted.

How do you apply for STAAR?

Teachers or school representatives must fill out the online booking form in full, including a summary statement. This statement should be a short paragraph of up to 100 words describing how the nominated student has shown an interest or aptitude in one or more STEM subjects.

This statement will be used to assess suitability for the programme before being placed in the random draw to select the programme participants. 

Upon processing the applications, teachers will receive an email receipt with a registered number. 

Please note, further detailed information and all appropriate permissions will be sent out after Recruit selection.

How will STAAR Recruits be selected?

There are 30 places available on each week-long camp and the selection process will be random and independently adjudicated. Nominations will be split into two draws by gender with 15 students per week chosen for each draw, to ensure an even gender split.

Where will STAAR Recruits be staying?

Recruits will be assigned to a two person room in an accommodation block on the RAF Cosford camp.  Girls and boys will be housed in the same block but on separate floors.  Staff from Tablet Academy, who are all CRB/DBS Police checked, will be on duty in the accommodation 24/7 and will accompany recruits during their activities.

Where will STAAR Recruits take their meals?

STAAR Recruits will enjoy three daily meals either in their own dedicated area in the Junior Ranks’ Mess at RAF Cosford or, on occasions when the Mess is too far, they will be provided with packed lunches . The food service staff will ensure that healthy meals are available and that any special dietary needs are met.

What does a typical STAAR day's schedule look like?
07.15am   Breakfast 
8.00am - 12.00pm   Morning activities at RAF Cosford / RAF Museum (including a break)
12.00pm   Lunch
1.00pm - 5.00pm  Afternoon activities at RAF Cosford / RAF Museum (including a break) 
5.00pm   Dinner
5.45pm - 7.00pm   Personal reflection time and diary writing
7.00pm - 9.30pm   Evening social activities
10.00pm   Lights out


What is the STAAR Dress Code?

STAAR KitWhile attending the STAAR programme, Recruits are required to dress in an appropriate and conservative manner, with clothing suitable for practical activities. Recruits will be provided with STAAR programme coveralls, so may wish to wear lightweight shorts and tops underneath these.

If you have further any questions about the programme not already covered above, please contact us at learning-cosford@rafmuseum.org or telephone 01902 376 200.


STAAR Students with a Robot   More STAAR Students with a Robot   STAAR Students in a helicopter at Cosford


It was one of the most memorable weeks, I did things which I would not have been able to do in school. Basically, I loved it, especially because I made new friends!

Learning from the experts   Working as a team, making new friends   At the base in a real life exercise

Share your RAF Stories

Collecting stories throughout the world

Find out more
Shobha Earl

Shobha Earl

RAF Stories
Share your RAF Stories
3 Pilots 1 War

Discover the amazing story of three First World War Pilots

Find out more
 Bernard Rice

Bernard Rice

First World War Pilot
3 Pilots 1 War
Historic Hendon Graphic Novel

Bringing the amazing stories of the RAF Museum's historic London site to life

Find out more
Ray Holmes

Ray Holmes

Unassuming Hero
Historic Hendon Graphic Novel
First World War Casualty Cards

You can now read online 300,000+ casualty cards belonging to RFC and RAF personnel

Find out more
Major James Thomas Byford McCudden

Major James Thomas Byford McCudden

First World War Ace
First World War Casualty Cards