The RAF aerobatic team The Red Arrows joined forces with Formula One firms and world-famous science ambassadors in order to inspire the next generation of young engineers.
Attending the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) day at RAF Scampton on September 16 was physicist Brian Cox, Gadget Show host Jason Bradbury and Wing Commander Andy Green, who is the holder of the world land speed record.
Professor Brian Cox, who is celebrated for his work on projects such as the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, said: “Having worked in the field for 20 years I’ve seen the almost crisis of the vast shortage of students in this area – but then I’ve seen it begin to turn around.
“I’ve been talking to students today who have grown up watching these aircraft and that’s inspirational.”
The event was held as part of the RAF Red Arrows’ 50th Display Season celebration, in partnership with The Education Business Partnership (EBP).
Some 300 high achieving science and maths students from 30 Lincolnshire schools made their way to the air base throughout the day.
The Year 6 and Year 9 students listened to inspiring talks from the STEM ambassadors and organisers before meeting with engineers from hi-tech companies such as Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Mercedes.
The day gave the students an inside look into the work behind the 120-strong Red Arrows team, as well as treating them to a special air display in the afternoon.
Squadron Leader Haroon Raja, Senior Engineering Officer of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “Every time the Red Arrows display in the air they represent engineering excellence – specifically the work of dozens of RAF personnel on the ground, from mechanical technicians to avionics staff.
“The result of this dedicated team, and years of training, is what everyone sees when the Red Arrows perform – precision.
“Taking this inspiration, and to mark the Red Arrows’ 50th display season, the team is delighted to host the STEM day at RAF Scampton.”
Red Arrows Wing Commander Neil Fraser said: “This year we have really been celebrating the 50th season.
“This year we’ve also been about to work with the two Lancasters which has made it all extra special.
“I was always leaning towards the maths and science subjects at school and decided I wanted to be a pilot very young.
“I love that we are able to make these students’ day by meeting with them and talking about our experiences.”
Among the students taking part were members of the Jon Egging Trust’s Blue Skies programme.
The Trust is a charity set up in memory of Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging, who lost his life in August 2011.
The organisation, whose patron is Professor Cox, realises Jon’s dream of helping young people overcome adversity, identify their strengths and work towards their ambitions.
Dr Emma Egging, Jon’s wife and co-founder of the Trust, said: “The STEM day at RAF Scampton provides a wonderful opportunity for our Blue Skies graduates to find out more about the charity’s patron Professor Brian Cox.
“Inspiration is at the heart of everything the Jon Egging Trust does, and meeting Professor Cox as part of this fantastic event will open up yet more career possibilities and interests for them.”