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Dr Steve Harris – STEM Ambassador
What I do
Though I started out as a Fun ‘n’ Flight Explainer, I now also undertake the role of STEM Ambassador. I engage school children in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) through activities planned and run by both paid staff and volunteers. For example building rockets and cars out of paper materials. Then we fire them via a compressed air launcher, and it is a competition to see whose can travel the furthest. Other activities include parachute and glider building – with the latter we had regional and area finals at the Museum. However, in order for students to build such vehicles they first need to be taught the science that drives them. Then how their performance can be optimised.
What I love
I enjoy being able to share my knowledge on the science of flight with such a huge variety of children. The great thing about running these activities is that the students that come in want to take part and learn. It is so rewarding when you realise that you have helped them fulfil that goal – it is like you are paving the way for the engineers of tomorrow.
What I get
I get to use the skills and expertise I gained through a career as a silicon chip designer, for example through repairing some of the interactive exhibits at the Museum. I remember having an interactive helicopter engine in my kitchen for two weeks before I was able to get it operational again! Plus the chance to indulge my life-long interest in aircraft and flying.