Announcement About Our Royal Patronage

Students compete for place on aerospace residential

Published on: 22 February 2023

The Royal Air Force Museum, in partnership with Northrop Grumman in the UK, is offering UK students a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to stay on base at RAF Cosford and immerse themselves in aerospace engineering and technology.

Students with a passion for STEM can compete in a series of challenges with the chance to win a place on the fully funded, award winning five-day Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme in July.

The STAAR competition is open to Year 9 students, who must work together in teams of five to tackle four STEM challenges exploring aerospace concepts. Challenges will require students to decipher secure encrypted communications, complete a reconnaissance and drone building task, and let their imaginations fly when designing their own CAD model aircraft. Each challenge is aligned with the national curriculum and is to be completed by students together in the classroom, culminating in a final presentation.

Teachers can now register a team of students, who they feel have the ambition, aptitude, and interest in STEM subjects to take on the STAAR Challenge. The competition opens on 27 February and challenges must be complete by 31 March. The schools who most successfully complete each task will win their place on the five-day STAAR residential camp at RAF Cosford in Shropshire, where they will develop their skills further. The residential will run over two weeks between 17-21 and 24-28 July for up to 20 students each week.

Julie Brierley, Head of Access, Learning and Participation at RAF Museum Midlands said: 

‘Our STAAR mission is to engage the next generation of young engineers and innovators by bringing classroom STEM studies to life. Students from across the UK will have the opportunity to develop their skills by solving real world STEM and aerospace problems, and gain a valuable insight into the exciting and diverse career opportunities available in this field. The top students who make it through to the residential week and STAAR class of 2023 are guaranteed to be inspired by first-hand experience in the aerospace industry and learning from the experts.’

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK, Europe and Middle East said:

‘It is a pleasure to continue our partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum on our groundbreaking STAAR Challenge, now in its seventh year. 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 from across the UK.

Studying STEM subjects offers students the chance to pursue a career that is inspiring, rewarding and hugely impactful – working on some of the most challenging and complex problems the world has to offer. Programmes like STAAR are vital in nurturing the pioneers of tomorrow, so that one day they too can help define possible.’

How to take part in the STAAR Competition:

  • Register your team online CLICK HERE
  • 27 February – Competition begins
  • 31 March – All four STEM challenges must be complete, and presentation submitted
  • 17 April – Work will be judged and results announced. Winning schools will be notified

The STAAR programme is fully funded (including travel, food and accommodation for the residential phase) by Northrop Grumman. The residential week will be delivered at the RAF Museum and on base at RAF Cosford by RAF Museum STEM Ambassadors, industry experts from Northrop Grumman, Tablet Academy professionals and RAF STEM personnel.

All students participating in the STAAR competition will receive an Industrial Cadets Challenger level award. In addition, STAAR students on the residential week will receive an Industrial Cadets Silver level award, a widely recognised skills-based quality framework accreditation, enabling young people to gain industry-led recognition awards.

For more information on the STAAR programme CLICK HERE

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