Welsh students soar with RAF STEM Challenge

Independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust has joined forces with the Royal Air Force (RAF), to give 300 students from schools in Wales, the opportunity to participate in free Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) days in secondary schools.

As part of this initiative, 120 students from Ysgol Clywedog School in Wrexham, put their practical STEM skills to the test over two days in the Propelled Glider Challenge. The project was designed to enhance students’ aptitude for lateral thinking, design and engineering and was especially geared to complement to the National Curriculum.

The Propelled Glider Challenge, required students aged 11-12, to design and construct an aeroplane, which could travel furthest through the air.  The plane was powered by a propelled mechanism and the fuselage constructed out of Balsa wood. Students learned about aerodynamics, incidence angle, shapes, sizes, trimming, and wing load calculations.

Assistant Head Teacher, Helen Hughes said, “We were delighted to take part in these STEM Days. They have encouraged our students to link the classroom elements of science, design and technology to what happens in engineering in the real world.”

Paul Harrap added “The RAF is keen to enthuse students to actively study maths and science, and to encourage girls to consider engineering and technology as future career pathways”.

Tom Adams, Smallpeice Trust Education Officer said “It is wonderful to see just how much students get from taking part in a STEM Day as they develop their lateral thinking and problem-solving skills.  Thanks to generous sponsorship from the RAF, this STEM Day has enabled students to utilise their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to tackle the task in hand. We hope these students will now be inspired to consider engineering when looking to choose future study options.”