STAAR Programme: Propelling Young Minds into Aerospace

Published on: 27 February 2024

Students from across the UK have a chance to explore aerospace engineering and technology during a summer residential, delivered by the Royal Air Force Museum in partnership with Northrop Grumman in the UK.

Designed to engage and inspire young minds, the RAF Museum’s Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme offers participants a unique opportunity to discover the exciting world of aerospace.

Specifically tailored for Year 9 (Scottish S3) students aged 14-15 with a keen interest in STEM, STAAR participants will engage in a series of hands-on activities, including flight simulators, flying drones, exploring aviation engineering, and behind-the-scenes access to the Museum and RAF Cosford. This immersive approach enables participants to explore and enrich their knowledge and understanding of aerospace in a stimulating environment.

During this once-in-a-life-time opportunity, STAAR recruits will be challenged with a series of tasks, encouraging them to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. Industry experts in STEM along with RAF personnel will be on hand to mentor participants, sharing valuable insights and experiences.

With a limit of 40 places available, the immersive five-day residential experience will run over two weeks between 22-26 July and 29 July-2 August, with 20 students each week. In addition to the daytime learning, a series of social activities including sports and movie nights will be available each evening, helping STAAR participants build new friendships and improve their teamwork.

Lucy Watkiss, Access & Learning Officer (STAAR & History) at RAF Museum Midlands said: 

‘The STAAR programme is not just a fantastic educational opportunity, it’s a journey into the thrilling world of aviation that we hope will inspire and shape the next generation of aviators, engineers, and innovators. By providing a first hand experience of the aviation world, we aim to not only cultivate a love for STEM but also inspire young individuals to pursue their dreams.’

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK said:

‘It is a pleasure to continue our partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum on our groundbreaking STAAR programme, now in its seventh year. STAAR is a unique opportunity to learn, experience and apply STEM subjects taught in the classroom to the real world of engineering. This inspiring programme aims to encourage more students to study STEM subjects, as well as develop a clearer view of the career opportunities and pathways that await them. At Northrop Grumman our mission is to define possible every day. We are a global team of pioneers with a passion for science, engineering, and technology at our heart, and we are constantly working to share that passion with young people across the UK.’

The STAAR programme is fully funded (including travel, food and accommodation) by Northrop Grumman, with the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, and in partnership with the RAF Museum. The residential week will be delivered at the Museum’s Midlands site and on base at RAF Cosford, with support from TA Education.

Applications for the STAAR programme are now open. Students who have an aptitude in STEM subjects who would like to take part in STAAR must complete an online application form, in conjunction with a teacher, school representative or organisation leader. Applications close on 29 March.

For more information on the STAAR programme CLICK HERE.

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