Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency – FAQS

Please note that we are continually following government guidance and in the unfortunate event that the residential programme must be cancelled, schools will be notified as quickly as possible with the view to arrange alternative dates if possible.

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

Who is STAAR for and how do I apply?

Due to current government guidance surrounding COVID-19, we are asking schools to nominate 20 students from a year group bubble. Nominations are open for students in Year 9 (Scottish S3) for the academic year 2020/2021, 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. Successful students will be in Year 10 (Scottish S4) for the academic year 2021/2022, when the residential takes place in October 2021. STAAR is open to UK citizens only. STAAR is not open to children of Northrop Grumman or Royal Air Force Museum employees.

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

To apply, please fill out the following form and email it to

How does the competition work and how and when will I receive the tasks?

The competition is a series of tasks that are aligned with aspects of the national curriculum. To be eligible, students must complete all tasks to the best of their ability.

Tasks will be sent via a secure OneDrive invitation that only yourself and the STAAR staffing team have access too. You will receive a new resource every week (please see list below).

10 May

Task one set

17 May

Task two set

24 May

Task three set

7 June

Task four set

14 June

Task five set

21 June

Final task set

28 June

Closing date for all work to be submitted by 12pm midday.

How will STAAR Recruits be selected?

There are 20 places available on each two day camp and the selection process takes place via VIP guests reviewing the schools entries against a set of criteria and independently adjudicated. A total of four schools can win a place, and dates will be offered for a residential in October 2021.

When is STAAR 2021 and why does the residential take place when the students move into Year 10 (S4 in Scotland)?

 The competition element of STAAR 2021 opens on 19 April, with the first task set on 10 May, and closing on 28 June. The residential element of STAAR will be held on the dates below and will be discussed with successful schools.

School One – October Monday 18 October to Wednesday 20 October 2021

School Two - Wednesday 20 October to Friday 22 October 2021

School Three - Monday 25 October to Wednesday 27 October 2021

School Four - Wednesday 27 October to Friday 29 October

Due the current situation, we feel that this option gives students a better form of engagement from year nine (S3) to build upon to lead into the residential in year ten (S4). It is very important to us that the residential element can take place, and due to current government guidance, the move to the Autumn Term offers a higher likelihood of this happening.

What will STAAR Recruits will get from the competition and (if successful) residential course?

    • Discover the stories of historical aircraft and the evolution of aerospace over time
    • 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 and team building

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 unmanned 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.

During the competition stage, students will have already been introduced to the main concepts and themes which will culminate in the mission’s end during the residential.

How much will it cost?

STAAR is a free fully funded programme including funds towards the cost of transport for your 20 students if they are successful and chosen to attend the residential at RAF Cosford. Transport needs will be discussed via call.

STAAR activities will be delivered between the base at RAF Cosford 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.

Where will STAAR Recruits be staying?

Recruits will be assigned to a shared room in an accommodation block on the RAF Cosford camp. Different genders will be housed in the same block but on separate floors. Staff from Tablet Academy & RAF Museum, 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 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?



8.00am – 12.00pm

Morning activities at RAF Cosford / RAF Museum (including a break)



1.00pm – 5.00pm

Afternoon activities at RAF Cosford / RAF Museum (including a break)



5.45pm – 7.00pm

Personal reflection time

7.00pm – 9.30pm

Evening social activities


Lights out

Can teachers accompany the students?

We would prefer students to be unaccompanied (except on the coach) as we want them to have the whole unique residential experience. Please get in touch if you have any further queries or concerns.

What is the STAAR Dress Code?

STAAR Uniform

While 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 kit, including t-shirts, hats and a bagpack. 

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