Lincolnshire children count down to STEM Day with guest Rachel Riley

For Lincolnshire children considering a future in science, technology, engineering or maths, it doesn’t get much more inspiring than a visit to the home of the RAF Red Arrows to hear from high profile industry experts.

In an annual STEM event at RAF Scampton on Monday, June 13, children will meet ‘numbers expert’ and Countdown star Rachel Riley, as well as more than 20 leading companies and organisations.

Businesses including Jaguar, Land Rover and Siemens will showcase their hi-tech work to 240 young people.

It is the third time the Lincolnshire airbase has hosted a session centred on science, technology, engineering or maths and this year’s event includes a focus on women in STEM industries and roles.

Rachel Riley – who is involved in several national numeracy initiatives – will be the event’s special guest and STEM ambassador.

Wing Commander Joanne Campbell, RAF Scampton’s Station Commander, said: “STEM Day at RAF Scampton has developed significantly over the last few years and is now a major event in our calendar.

“The event provides young people with an inspirational, real example of the fascinating futures open to them, including in the Royal Air Force – which has exciting careers across our technical trades.”

The children, aged between 10 and 14 years-old, will have chance to take part in a range of activities and also enjoy a display by the Red Arrows.

Red Arrows STEM ambassador and RAF engineer Sergeant Gary Ware said: “The Red Arrows aim to inspire people across the UK and beyond with precision performances and it’s very rewarding knowing this event will capture the imagination of a new generation in STEM.

“Working as an engineer in the Red Arrows, I know first-hand how STEM skills are required in every aspect of our output – whether in the air or on the ground.”

Among the organisations taking part in Monday’s event are BAE Systems, the University of Lincoln, QinetiqQ, Premier Foods and Mott MacDonald Bentley.

The day is jointly run by RAF Scampton, together with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows – which is based at the airfield – and The EBP, a Lincoln-based social enterprise. It is receiving support this year from the RAF Charitable Trust.

The EBP has been delivering the STEM contract in Lincolnshire and Rutland for 10 years.

Paula Bailey, Schools’ Team leader at The EBP, said:“STEM Day is a unique opportunity for young people to meet some of the most inspirational employers and personalities in STEM and we hope that this event is a springboard for some of our county’s aspiring young STEM professionals.”

There is a national shortage of people entering STEM-related industries, with an annual shortfall of 55,000 skilled engineers in the UK.

Only 13% of people working in occupations classed as STEM are women.