Aspiring science students from Lincoln and the surrounding areas were led on a special outreach day by university professor and TV physicist Brian Cox.
Some 40 GCSE students from William Farr, Lincoln Castle Academy, Baines Wallis Academy and The Banovallum School, and 13 students aged 15-16 from Priory Witham Academy, had the unique opportunity of meeting Professor Cox at RAF Coningsby on Wednesday, September 9.
The students, who are part of the Jon Egging Trust’s Blue Skies Programme attended a talk on science and space from the famous professor, before ‘flying’ in one of the force’s Typhoon simulators.
The Jon Egging Trust was set up in memory of Red Arrow’s pilot Jon Egging who lost his life in 2011 at Bournmouth Air Festival.
With its Blue Skies Programme, it offers life-changing opportunities for 10,000 young people every year.
It’s run with local partners and delivers courses to develop teamwork and leadership skills for students from the crucial ages of 13-16.
In Lincolnshire, the programme is run in conjunction with personnel from BBMF RAF Coningsby, RAF Scampton, RAF Waddington, RAF Wittering, and RAF Cranwell.
Brian Cox was made a patron of the trust last year, and has since hosted a number of inspirational events for young people in Lincolnshire.
He said: “The most important thing that the trust does is to show its students that there are possibilities out there.
“We are talking about young people who have low aspirations and low self-confidence – not through any fault of their own. The Jon Egging Trust literally changes their lives and inspires them to be the best they can be.”
Acting Station Commander, Wing Commander Chris Moon welcomed the JET guests and explained how the inspiration to work hard had affected his career.
He said: “I grew up near Warton and used to see the fighter aircraft on their test flights. When I told my teachers I wanted to be a fighter pilot they said it was highly unlikely that I would achieve my goal.
“I joined the Air Cadets and realised with hard work to improve my grades I could fulfil my ambition. Being inspired helps you realise and follow your dreams, I hope you all have an inspirational visit today!”
Sophie Swinburn, one of the students from the Priory Witham Academy said: “I’m really, really excited to be here today because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to talk to Professor Brian Cox.”