The museum is working in partnership with Northrop Grumman in the UK to find the brightest STEM students to take part in a new design competition. Each school team will compete against other school teams in a series of STEM challenges posted online, with the chance to win a two-day residential educational and vocational experience at RAF Cosford later this year.
The new STAAR programme will consist of six STEM challenges that together create the overall mission. Students will be part of an elite team called upon to monitor earthquakes and volcanoes, provide aid to citizens, assess the damage to national communications, transport and power and help the elected Government of a UK ally to maintain civil control of the country after a series of natural disasters.
To complete their mission the team must design an unmanned aircraft that is low cost, lightweight and capable of being remotely piloted over difficult terrain in the emergency zone.
Open to all Year 9 students across the UK, the competition is the 2021 edition of the RAF Museum and Northrop Grumman’s successful Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme. In its fourth year, STAAR has adapted to the limitations of Covid-19 and continues to engage the next generation of young engineers and innovators by bringing classroom STEM studies to life.
Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK, Europe and Middle East said: “I am extremely proud of our STAAR programme and our new 2021 approach to make it even more accessible to a larger group of young people whilst ensuring that it is still an exciting and competitive opportunity.
"The sector needs talented young people and STAAR helps to provide an insight into careers in our industry by understanding the importance of teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, agile approaches and thinking outside the box – those who push the envelope and are willing to try will see how they can make an impossible mission, possible.”
Julie Brierley, Head of Access and Learning at RAF Museum Cosford added: “We were forced to rethink our usual STAAR format due to Covid, and as a result, we now have the opportunity to engage with more students than ever before with our online curriculum-based STEM challenges, while still offering a residential experience for the four winning teams later this year.
"The residential is fully funded and students will get to experience elements at both RAF Cosford and the RAF Museum.”
Teachers can now register a total of up to 20 students, in teams of five students each, that the teachers feel have the ambition, aptitude and interest in STEM subjects to take part in the STAAR Challenge.
Applications opened today. For more information visit rafmuseum.org/STAAR